Wednesday 12 September 2018

Transitions: What's Up For 2018-19 School Year

Transitions.  A period of change.  We are in a state of transitions this year.  A new school year is like New Years for teachers and students alike.   A fresh start.  A new beginning.  Goal setting.  Full of hope and possibilities.  It’s like the summer allows us to restart, reevaluate and potentially reinvent ourselves.  School start up has always been one of my favorite seasons and this year is no different.  As much as I love summer, oh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE summer, I am happy to reconnect with colleagues, kids are happy to see their friends, we get a fresh batch of activities to try out and life begins to go around and around once again.

This school start-up is different for all of us because we are all going through some specific transition.  I’ll start with the youngest, probably the most difficult transition, and move on upward.

 Anya (New school)

We had been talking about switching schools for a couple of years but this past spring Anya actually became interested.  We all love her old school, it’s where our hearts is, but as parents we began wrestling with a few things.  Anya is a social kid, probably would be classified as a social butterfly.  She loves kids and being around them.  At school this was mainly happening but after school we couldn’t really foster the friendships for several reasons.  People are busy, they are surviving life, or playdates/birthday parties are not a part of their culture.  This is okay, except when your child is craving it.  Yes, we have activities and some neighbors, but A. wanted more.  She started asking for sleepovers, playdates and a stream of birthday parties, etc.  In the end we decided to switch to our neighborhood school in hopes to make these opportunities more readily available.  Are we doing the right thing?  Who knows.  We do what we think is right in the moment.  We consider many perspectives.   We ask our children.  But ultimately the burden of the decision is upon us as parents, so we make it.  So far week one has gone okay, a few little mishaps, but she is holding strong and being extremely mature and optimistic.  I’ll keep you posted. 

Halie (New/Old School, New Program)
In early spring Halie came to us and stated that she wanted to apply for the iGen grade 6 program (intergenerational program).  It’s a one-year program based out of Sherbrook Community Center which houses elderly people that may have some disabilities and/or health concerns.  The students are immersed in daily life with the residence, the diversity of their classmates, in citizenship education, and an integrated curriculum approach to learning. The center is close to Halie’s elementary school and the students spend approximately 30% of their time at the elementary school for gym, band, and school activities, and the rest of their time either at Sherbrook or in the community.  When Halie first approached us with this idea,  we were unsure if she would be a good fit but upon discussing it at length with her we were shocked by the maturity of her answers and the reasons behind her decision.  We were also surprised that she was willing to leave her girl tribe to apply for a program like this.  Once again, we were pleasantly surprised by her mature outlook as we well as her desired to expand her mind and soul in such a way.  At the supper table they other day she said, “in iGen we are all just instantly friends.  The girls and the boys.  There is just no groups, we all work and play together.  It’s very different but so great.”  I am so excited not just for here but for our whole family to learn and grow our understanding this year.  How lucky are we?!?

Me (New boss & last year as Early Learning Consultant)  
Eek.  One of my bosses, a mentor, retired and is pursuing another path in the education world.  I am happy beyond words for her, but my initial reaction was pure sadness for myself.  I was devastated.  Speechless.  Shocked.  I thought I would finish off my four-year term as an Early Learning and Literacy consultant with her by my side.  After the shock wore off, I was happy for her and I know her guidance over the years has built my knowledge and experience  and I am truly grateful for that.  I have the best colleagues and other mentors in my environment and I know that they are there to support me.  I will be challenged in new ways and that’s kind of exciting too.  When new people come into a role they bring fresh perspectives and you can choose to be open to them and grow alongside them, or you can choose to have a fixed mindset and isolate yourself.   I choose the collaborative, the open, the learning disposition, and so I begin this year with great expectations and a desire to learn to the very end.  I have no idea what will happen after this, and I would be lying if I said that I don’t think about/worry about it, but a year is a long time and there is so much learning, growing and work to be done.  I am excited and ready for it all!!!!

And so, we all begin a new school year with our own set of expectations, hopes, goals and some anxiety.  I choose to see change as a positive. As an opportunity.  As a learning journey that will make me a better person.  I pass that same message and mentality to my girls.  I lead by example because that’s the best way to lead. 


  1. I love fall because it always feels like a fresh start. Good luck to all of you with your transitions - everyone will do great!

    1. Thanks Lana. Two out of three are doing really well, one little one may just need a bit more time (at least that's what I am hoping). Sigh. Why is parenting so hard? :)

  2. Wow! Lots of changes! We have thought of changing our kids school, just because it is a 30 minute commute in rush hour every morning and it does get tiring sometimes! I hope your daughter gets the social cravings that she longs for! It seems girls are all about sleepovers, etc. My daughter is in competitive dance and I think that helps a lot, since they stay so busy with different events. I'm the opposite, I'm an introvert. So, I try to adjust with her! lol! Hope your transition goes well with your boss leaving. That is always so hard when someone you work with so closely leaves.


    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. It's interesting how as parents we have to change or readjust at times to suit the needs of our children. Having children comes with so many unknowns and sleepless nights, doesn't it. We are just re-entering the dance world but on a very low-key scale. The girls love it so far and I am happy to support them in being physically active and creative.