For most people, the new year starts on Jan. 1, but having worked in schools, pre-schools, and day cares all of my working life, to me, the new year begins with the first day of school.
My memories of that magical day include the smell of a brand new leather school bag (long before the invention of backpacks); a square tin lunch box with a red plaid pattern that always smelled of bologna sandwiches and crisp McIntosh apples; a stiff navy blue tunic and a crisp white blouse, with navy blue knee socks and shiny new black shoes; new pencils and a cartridge pen, with clean new notebooks waiting to be filled with stories from my imagination….
As a parent, I remember my children’s love for back to school shopping. Probably every parent’s worst nightmare (it is NOT the most wonderful time of the year!), but kids love it: shopping for new clothes, new shoes, new backpacks, and the endless list of supplies that seemed to get longer each year. Not to mention the annual first day of school photo, posed on the front steps, squinting into the sun, and sporting the latest in back to school fashions.
As a child-care worker, I have worked with every age group from toddlers to tweens, and no matter the age, each new school year is like opening a new book; so much to learn, to experience, to enjoy. Kids are natural sponges, if you provide them with interesting things to explore and the freedom to do so, it is amazing what they can learn.
Every September brings a fresh new batch of students, all eager and excited to learn and play, and I as their teacher/care-giver am always prepared. I love the excitement of back-to-school preparations, the new supplies, the smell of new books, paint, crayons, glue and construction paper, and all the plans for crafts and activities for the new year. New puzzles, toys, books, games, even recycled ones are all part of the excitement of new possibilities. So bring on another school year, and Happy New Year!
Donna Belanger is a resident of Caribou River who is involved in many different groups in Pictou County and is always willing to find out more about what is happening while she is out and about. She can been reached at email@example.com