Bottle the Excitement


Nothing beats the first day of school–nothing!  I compare it to the feeling of running on the court for a championship game as the crowd roars.  At exactly 8:45, teachers, most likely running on little sleep due to butterflies and a weekend of final preparations, anxiously waited as hundreds of excited students began pouring off their buses, traveling to their classrooms on floors shining  like mirrors.   At no other point in the school year are teachers and students so excited.  Parents, support personnel, and the principal greeted students and helped younger students and  new students  find their classrooms.  It was truly an amazing sight.  Equally amazing are the efforts, going unnoticed by many, of custodial staff, secretaries and other staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to this day, to make the building look its very best.

In 14 years of first days, I have never seen an opening day run so smoothly.  The feat of getting 450+ kids  off buses, to recess and through the lunch line on time was an amazing one in itself – and that doesn’t count the learning that began the very first day.  The credit goes to all teachers, staff, students and parents working together.  Without teamwork, chaos would ensue.

Traveling through the building as teachers returned to their rooms after saying goodbye to students for the first time this year, I inquired about their first day.  The answers I got were  incredible!  Not one teacher mentioned a complaint or expressed a negative about the day.  One told me that the children were so excited to be at school they couldn’t stop talking about it.  Another told me of a student’s comments during a story about fear that she was reading:  “I can relate to that.”  One teacher, who was searching for a class pet that somehow escaped, said that this is going to be a great year.  Still another said that this was the best first day they had ever had, and the kids were great.

So the question is how can this level of  excitement be maintained?  In reality, it probably can’t. We can’t physically or emotionally maintain that level of intensity every day.  What we can  maintain – although not without effort – is the positive attitude, with the “cans” far outweighing the “can’ts.”  We can strive to keep the atmosphere of teamwork, working together instead of in isolation, collaborating instead of competing, and sharing in successes and problem-solving together.

I will try to bottle this excitement as a reminder of what can be.  Together we can achieve incredible things.

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One Response to “Bottle the Excitement”

  1. Why was the principal not notified that a classroom pet had escaped?!
    I enjoyed reading your post. I truly hope we can maintain this level of positivity and excitement throughout the rest of the year. This was such a strong start for us….let’s keep it rolling! Thanks also for mentioning the behind-the-scenes work of the support staff. Their efforts are so valuable and their contributions to our organization are limitless!

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