Here we are, the day after Labour Day and the new school year upon us.
Many memories are cropping up for me — which happens every year at this time. I recall when I began my very first year teaching. It was at Creighton Mine Public School in 1962.
It was so long ago, but I remember it vividly. I was excited, but also a little concerned. Did I really know how to teach? The classroom had been all set up for several days and was prepared to accommodate the Grade 3 and 4 children.
It was up to me to welcome the pupils and organize them. That distant memory of a new beginning in my life brings my thoughts closer to the present and another new beginning.
One of my daughters began full-time teaching this month and so my thoughts turn to her. Speaking with her on the phone, her preparations are similar to mine all those years ago. She went into school several days early, getting ready to greet her students and commence teaching.
She has worked very hard to get her teaching certificate and I know she will be a very good teacher —she has excelled at many different challenges all her life.
Three more new beginnings are happening in our family today.
My great-grandson is going to school for the very first time and will be in junior kindergarten. Will he be very shy? How long will it take time for him to become acquainted and play with his classmates? Will he like his teacher? Will she like him? So many new things to learn about. He’s so little, I hope he does not feel overwhelmed.
At the other end of the spectrum is our granddaughter, who begins her university journey today.
She has not experienced being on her own before and will miss her parents and brother very much. She must adjust to a new lifestyle as well as to her studies. Learning to navigate the campus and school will definitely keep her occupied for a number of days. I’m anxious to hear about her first week’s experiences at university.
She is sharing a room in residence with a girl she has not met before. Another adaptation. Our granddaughter has always made friends easily as she’s so outgoing, so it won’t take her long to adjust.
My husband retired very recently, so he too begins a new phase in his life. I have easily adapted to him being home much more – in fact, I like it.
The lives of so many of our family members are positively affected this September. New beginnings indeed.
Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.