Over the Labour Day weekend, the media was full of messages about summer’s end and going back to regular school and work routines. To be honest, I found the tone of most of the messages to be downright depressing. One quote, attributed to Henry Rollins, an American musician and writer, is very poetic but still discouraging, “. . .we know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”
And yet with all this talk of things ending and wreckage, what I saw all around me this week were new beginnings.
On the first day of school, I visited Caledonia Centennial Public School and welcomed back both students and staff. This was a special visit as it highlighted new beginnings for me as the Director, for Linda De Vos as the new Haldimand Elementary Family of Schools Superintendent and for Tom Fitzsimmons who started his first school day as Principal of Caledonia Centennial. I saw students and staff happy to be back and excited to start a new year full of anticipation of things to come.
I saw Twitter posts of students and staff welcoming each other back. I saw new school Administrators beginning their roles and staff who are new to Grand Erie embracing their new journey. I saw primary students playing games, secondary school students being welcomed in the Learning Commons and sports and activities starting up again in all of our schools. I saw excitement, enthusiasm and a focus on engaging students in their learning.
I saw the Ed Centre sliding into a more regular rhythm as summer schedules moved back to the school year pattern and the work continues.
So for me, and I suspect for many of you, while I have to admit that we did just experience the end of something as we said good-bye to summer break, we also experienced the start of something new. Our new school year, our chance to engage our students and staff in meaningful endeavours and to continue to do our best work together.