Everyone seems to love getting new school supplies. I can still remember the thrill of my new leather book satchel each year, along with the penny loafers that were so stiff you could hardly get your foot in them. The shiny book bag held promises of new library books, black lined composition notebooks and fat pencils. That feeling carries over to today.
A few weeks ago I bought my planner for the new school year. I spent a good amount of time in Walmart choosing it. A pretty Carolina blue, with warm, friendly flowers on each page and a faux felt cover that feels soft on my hand – I think the two of us will get along.
Teachers especially have a real bond with their planners. I have seen some get absolutely giddy over the latest online model. They can’t wait to get out their fine point Sharpies and start color coding their ‘to do lists’ for the year! Being organizationally challenged, I am just happy to have somewhere to jot down the quick notes to myself and the many reminders and places to be that will start bombarding me as soon as August rolls around. Even in this day of calendars and notes on our phones, our planners are indispensable for most of us.
The clean white pages of the planner already seem to be talking to me, waiting to be filled with whatever the year holds. I have been on a school calendar for most of my life, and no matter how difficult the previous year or how tired I am at the end of May, I always feel optimistic by the time to go back. Most educators I know are this way.
Each school year starts off with unique possibilities. New students come in, responsibilities and assignments change, and those we work with are different. We will have several new teachers at Valley Point this year, and they will bring their fresh excitement. With freshly painted clean white walls in the hallways and sweet smelling mulch in the flower beds, the school seems ready to welcome back the loud and nervous kids next week.
I will admit to a small melt-down one day over having to go back, but it was just a little catharsis over adjusting to the change. I have decided I don’t transition well, even over small things. At the end of the year, I have a hard time letting go and starting my summer. When I go on a trip, I don’t want to leave my house, then I don’t want to come home. I really don’t like changing from my pajamas to clothes and vice versa. Maybe it is part of my ADD. Anyway, I got it out of my system and now I feel at peace and ready to take on the challenges that are waiting.
The Psalms mention several times about a “new song” from The Lord, usually in relation to giving God praise. Several years ago when I was moving to Valley Point Middle, I was feeling anxious and scared and my devotional that day was on this very topic, about being dependent on God to take us our of our comfort zones and risk singing a new song. Sometimes when I look at the blank pages of my planner, I worry that the year will bring pain instead of joy. That is when I have to give it to The Lord, with thankfulness for the opportunity to sing a new song to Him in the midst of the inevitable changes that will come.
So bring it on 2014-2015! I am ready to meet you with joy!