204 Days ’til 40: New Beginnings

01 Aug

From the end spring new beginnings. ~ Pliny the Elder

Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities. ~ William Throsby Bridges

Beginnings are always messy. ~ John Galsworthy

Today I have been thinking a lot about beginnings.  This is really no surprise, as I head back to work tomorrow – summer break is over and a new school year is about to begin.  I also picked up one of our new teachers at the airport today.  We are gearing up for a new school year.  It is hard to believe that the summer is over, but as Pliny the Elder says, “From the end spring new beginnings.”

I often have a mix of feelings at the beginning of the school year.  There is much excitement as we come together as a team to create the new year.  There is also a lot of stress, as we have two weeks to prepare for the entry of the students.  We also worry about providing the best program possible for our students, meeting our budgets, and finding a way to balance our dedication to our work with our need for personal/ family time.  It is a tightrope that many educators walk.

My favorite day of the new school year is orientation.  I love that feeling the day before school starts – all the students come on campus and meet their new teachers.  I LOVE it when our returning students run up and give us hugs and, full of excitement, tell us all about their summer adventures.  We are here for them – when they walk through the door we remember our motivation for choosing to be educators.  We remember what a gift it is to be able to walk alongside a young person and assist them on their learning journeys.  We remember that we can make an impact.  And, we remember that their presence in our lives is a greater gift to us than we could ever return to them.

Today, 204 days ’til 40, I am thankful for new beginnings.  I look forward to the new school year and serving all the students who join us.




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30 responses to “204 Days ’til 40: New Beginnings

  1. stephenedwards425

    August 1, 2012 at 00:07

    Just wondering…where did you find the Pliny the Elder quote?

    Be encouraged!

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 11:38

      I don’t even remember! I go on all sorts of quote sites when I am looking for quotes! 🙂

      • stephenedwards425

        August 1, 2012 at 21:01

        Thanks for answering…I do the same thing and rarely can recall where I’ve gleamed something from.

        Be encouraged!

  2. jensine

    August 1, 2012 at 00:11

    I always loved the new stationary … pens and pencils new and shiny, new notebooks, pads and so on … loved it, there always was a sense of purpose about it

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 11:39

      Me too!!! Yesterday I went into a stationary store and bought myself a new pencil/eraser/ etc. and I don’t even need to – I make the budget for the school, I can order what I need…. but it was fun picking out a few special ones as I head back to work! Great memories!

      • jensine

        August 1, 2012 at 12:43

        yes … when I get ready to teach again in September I tidy up my stationary too and love the newness of everything

  3. tonyakerrigan

    August 1, 2012 at 01:07

    This year my oldest takes off for college. It’ll be weird without him around.

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 11:40

      Wow, what an important milestone! I am sure it will feel very odd… it takes time to adjust.

  4. Another Thousand Words

    August 1, 2012 at 03:07

    So, 400, I guess it’s appropriate to wish you a Happy New Year?

  5. liz

    August 1, 2012 at 09:52

    I used to be a teacher too, and the beginning if the school year always brought with it mixed emotions. Hoping you had a wonderful first day!!

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 11:41

      Yes, definitely mixed emotions! Thank you!!!

  6. The Quiet Borderline (back in hospital)

    August 1, 2012 at 10:30

    Very nice. It sounds like a very rewarding job to have.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. The White Pumpkin

    August 1, 2012 at 10:35

    I do believe this is what my sister is looking forward too 🙂

  8. ahmedfraih

    August 1, 2012 at 13:01

    Facing our mixed feelings at the beginning isn’t easy but remembering the sense of achievement and respect when we met our friends and people who had lived the past with us would be a great motiv for us to keep going and go ahead with this new beginning just like when you meet your prior students. Thanks for the superb article.

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 17:25

      Yes, very good points!!! 🙂 Thank you so much, Ahmed!

  9. walkwiththerabbi

    August 1, 2012 at 16:34

    You have a wonderful spirit. It’s clear you are doing precisely what you are meant to be doing right now. For this new school year – I wish you “enough.” Your kids are blessed to have you as a teacher at this point in their journeys. Hugs from here.

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 17:21

      Thank you so much for your very kind words!!!!! 🙂

  10. A Table in the Sun

    August 1, 2012 at 17:32

    Our school has just two paid days to set up, but our administrator decided to devote one of those days to professional development. Imagine the teachers’ opinion of this……..they just wanted to sharpen those pencils, create bulletin boards and plan lessons. And the scariest part…..lucky me…I was the one who had to provide the training for 150 teachers who didn’t want to be there. Public speaking with a hostile audience. Yikes!

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 17:42

      Oh no, that would not be fun! We have four days for our staff and they are a mix of both professional development time and time to be in rooms setting up. I think there would be mutiny in the ranks if they did not have that time!!!

  11. Sid Dunnebacke

    August 1, 2012 at 17:38

    Having seen my daughters with a string of fabulous teacher after fabulous teacher, I can say with no hesitation that you teachers return the gift many times over. I hope your new year is fulfilling all around.

    • 400daystil40

      August 1, 2012 at 17:43

      Thank you so much for your very kind words. Yes, good teachers are amazing…. and most of my colleagues do a great job at giving so much to their students.

  12. viveka

    August 1, 2012 at 17:47

    Wish you a great start … on your “new year”. Like your eager to go back and start all over. Wonderful post.

    • 400daystil40

      August 2, 2012 at 22:25

      Thank you so very much! Going back is always really hard because getting ready for the new school year is very stressful and requires a great amount of emotional and physical energy. Once we get the year in full swing things start to find their rhythm and it gets easier. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. Spider42

    August 4, 2012 at 10:47

    (You might hate me for this one, but I can’t help it!!)

    Every time a door closes, another opens somewhere else. I think it’s an air pressure thing.

  14. Lela Bonchjela

    August 6, 2012 at 12:56

    I love orientations too! Especially when I’ve taught the siblings of potential students! Seeing them all grown-up and matured brings nothing but memories of their younger years 😉

    • 400daystil40

      August 6, 2012 at 23:20

      Yes, I enjoy that as well! Sadly, the school I work at is mostly a transient population, so we miss seeing families grow up – I miss that a lot.


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