Is it really 'back-to-school,' already?
Aug. 26, 2013
by Jenni Sebora

My husband asked me the other day when summer vacation will start. Meaning – it has been a busy summer, and we can’t believe that summer is winding down. “When does summer vacation begin?’

Wow. I can’t believe I am saying those words again. It is back-to-school time (hyphenated because it really is like a national holiday, but not really a holiday).

Here we are. County fair time over. Trips to area lakes over (never as many as we wanted). Swimming pool visits winding down. (Well, we have to make our annual visit to the Gaylord municipal pool, which is really cool (climbing wall, water slides, diving boards, good concession stand).

The sun is setting a little earlier. Gnats, mosquitoes, ants, and flies have found some different nesting homes besides our ears, arms, and legs. However, the bees and wasps are now on the warpath.

The harvest is coming in. Our family is enjoying green peppers, a cucumber (yes, a single cucumber), and even some tomatoes (more than one, in fact, lots of cherry tomatoes, some Roma and some yellow – which are intended to be yellow), and some sour apples that I should not have picked yet, but couldn’t help myself.

All signs that, yes, we are nearing the end of our beloved summer.

My daughter is already contemplating what she will transform into for Halloween. With this, of course, is the start of another school year.

As a parent and a teacher, I believe this time of year is always exciting. A fresh start. A new beginning. New friendships. Old friendships reunited from the summer break. New books (in terms of new material). New teachers. New students.

Excitement. To aid in the excitement of the new school year, I always allow my kids to pick out some new, cool pencils, ruler, some fun folders, and this year, the pick included big “mistake erasers” that are the size of your hand.

In fact, as I write this article, my soon-to-be eighth grade daughter and her eighth grade cousin are decorating T-shirts for the first day of school. It is these little things that help instill a sense of fun when, in fact, sometimes, a new year can also bring on feelings of stress.

I recently read an article about what teachers wish parents knew. Since I am in both roles – parent and teacher – I feel I have a unique perspective from both sides.

Actually, I should not use the word, “sides.”

Teachers want parents to know that they are a team, not one side against the other side. Everyone wants what is best for the child.

As a parent, I want teachers to remember to never belittle my son or daughter in front of others, especially their classmates. This is devastating. Students will have a harder time feeling safe and secure in your classroom if you do this – not that most teachers engage in this behavior, but we parents want teachers to know this.

As a parent, start the year by meeting and greeting your child’s teacher with a positive attitude.

Remember, we are all on the same side – working together to help grow each child.

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