On this eve, of the night before the first day of school, the energy of the first day jitters can be felt far and wide.
Perhaps the jitters are radiating from parents who, for the first time, will have to wave their little ones off to their very first day of school and their first time away from home and entrust the care of others. The tears may flow from nervous wee ones and/or equally from parents themselves!
The jitters can also be felt flowing from more experienced students, both big and small, who anticipate the year ahead of them. They may be stewing over things like if their fashion or school supplies measure up, who they will sit with at lunch, if they will have the same friends or new ones, how they might deal with the challenges of a new grade, a new school, an elevated workload, or even issues of bullying, and of course they jitter over…who their new teachers will be.
Then of course there are those aforementioned teachers…yup, they are jittery too! I can assure you if asked, a teacher will report back that they have had at least one ‘teacher’ dream prior to the first day of school. This may have involved an alarm clock that didn’t ring and reporting late to the first day of school, a class full of aliens waiting to be taught, or a severe and utterly embarrassing wardrobe malfunction! (Let’s hope that none of these happen in reality, but the anxious dreams are all too real). You see, teachers are human too!
So it can be said, we all get the first day jitters. Time and experience does not minimize this fact. But the jitters are not necessarily a negative reality.
These jitters unveil our humanness and connect us to one another in a way that we can identify.
The jitters keep us on our toes and remind us to step up our game.
The jitters remind us to refrain from getting too comfortable, and too complacent in our lives; thus encouraging us to flow with change and newness.
This new school year can be all that you want it to be – jittery parents, students and teachers. Like anything in life, this new year (as you would with January resolutions), asks us to re-examine our realities, to reflect on what may have worked in the past and what may need some gentle shifting this time around. This new year calls us to set intentions and goals for ourselves and perhaps collectively as teams, families or classrooms.
Will there be challenges along the way? Perhaps and more realistically, likely. What’s important is how you choose to view these challenges, or rather, opportunities. Because it is true, every challenge is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to learn, to grow, to change and to once again, step up that game!
When we are faced with adversity it is either to mirror a quality or behaviour in us that needs some examination and alteration, to challenge us to address a weakness that could be strengthened, or to lead us on a path that embodies our purpose, in order to bring more love and kindness to the world.
So, as I prepare on this evening for my own first day of school tomorrow – with the makings of lunch, the laying out of a first day outfit, the setting of an alarm clock, and a general quieting of my mind to set positive intentions for this new school year, I leave you with the wise words of my favourite first day author: