Off Script: Despite distractions, a new school year is exciting
Labour Day is not only a day to celebrate the labour movement across the world but also a day that escorts summer out the door while we welcome students and colleagues back. The start of a school year is an exciting yet exhausting time for teachers, school leaders, students and parents.
A friend recently asked me how the start of this school year was going, and I responded by stating that it seemed to be a weird mixture of excitement, angst and downright anger. I noted in teachers’ excitement to be back without controversial return-to-school COVID plans, yet the newly implemented K-6 curriculum compounded with increased class sizes and a lack of funding put a damper on the return.
Teachers also saw, on what was the first day of classes for many students, the disastrous release of the government’s teacher registry, a database that no one asked for or wanted. Not much was known about the registry in June when government informed teachers about it via email, and the ATA shared several concerns with the government and privacy commissioner. Like many things, the registry provided an unwelcome distraction to the start of the school year.
When I speak with retired teachers, they often comment about how the start of a new school year can be bittersweet. There is nothing like meeting new students, seeing how former students have changed and grown over the summer months, and connecting with colleagues to see how their summers unfolded. Despite the pressures and stresses of the job, our classrooms and schools provide wonderful opportunities and rewards. I still miss the start of the school year and I imagine I always will.
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