As August rolls into the midway point, teachers in the Northeast are on the “Sunday night of summer” as I’ve seen it labeled all over social media. There is less summer ahead of us than there is behind us. The planning, setting up, and starting fresh is looming on the horizon. The promise of a new year, a fresh start, and a chance to begin again lies ahead.
I’ve always loved those hot, sticky, frantic August days when I am in my classroom starting anew. I love cultivating beauty and organization out of the blank slate of a new year. There is nothing that gets me more excited than opening up a fresh box of Crayola, with their smooth flat tips and smelling that earthy-waxy scent. I love the clean floors and the organized shelves, the order and “just right” of it all… before the kids come and it becomes the organized chaos of our 180 days together. At this point in my career I don’t need to be in my classroom for a full week of full days setting up, and yet there’s no where I’d rather be. Because, you see… in that room lies hope. Possibility. A chance.
Every September is a chance to do better than you did the year before. Every September is a chance to revisit what went well, revise what didn’t go well, and reinvent what will set your soul on fire. I don’t know of any other profession that lets you erase the past and start new once a year. How lucky are we to have such an opportunity!
We all have a choice to frame our minds in a way that influences our actions. I have found that framing my mind to see the “Sunday night of summer” as the horizon of a bright new beginning to have a profound impact on my teaching. The beginning is inevitable, but we all have a choice on how we embrace it.