I can’t believe today’s our first day of school. I have no clue what I’m going to wear, if I’ll make new friends, or like all of my new teachers. I don’t have a backpack stuffed to the gills with a million different pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, binders, and various other items deemed necessary for the new school year.
The nice thing about it is I’m not the least bit nervous. I plan to throw on something casual and comfortable, perfect for chasing kids on the playground, bending down to tie someone’s shoelaces, sitting on furniture made for toddlers to read someone a book, cleaning up the crumbs on the floor…I always make friends with the children and find it easy to get along with others who care about kids as much as I do. I’m sure some of my teachers, the majority of whom are under the age of five, will challenge me some days more than others, but I’ll like all of them nonetheless. I learn things from each of them, many times without them realizing they’re teaching me lessons I’ll take with me and apply long after school’s dismissed.
Sometimes children can be such wonderful spiritual directors. On more than one occasion, I’ve found the simple truths they say out loud hold as much wonder and reverence as some of the most sacred prayers ever written.
They express honesty without the shut-up filter formed later in life; they say exactly what they’re thinking and feeling. This type of openness can be so endearing…except, of course, when what is going through their very self-focused brains is: “I had that soccer ball first, and if you don’t give it back I’m going to whack you up side the head when the teacher isn’t looking.”
I’m actually kind of excited to find out how the kids I haven’t seen since June have grown and changed over the summer. It’s always interesting to observe the dynamics of the group begin to form. Our classrooms are decorated beautifully and set-up for maximum allowable Montessori Enrichment fun and exploration. It’s going to be a good school year.