Well, September has come and gone. What a month! Being in a new school, I anticipated being busy and tired by the end of the month. I could never have anticipated being as emotionally and physically exhausted as I was on September 30th.
A new school and a new school year brings excitement, busy-ness and anticipation.
This September brought a new Junior Kindergarten program to the school. I love, love, love this program! So, I was through-the-moon excited to have it at our school. We had to hire an instructor and set up an empty classroom, shuffle Educational Assistants and transition these beautiful 4 year old children into the school. I love going into this classroom and spending time with these cuties!
This September brought 2 un-well teachers who would be off work for a minimum of two months. Hiring good teachers quickly is not an easy task. Being hired somewhat last-minute and being ready to teach is also not easy. Both teachers have done a fabulous job for us!
This September brought 40 new, unanticipated students to our school. These new students were welcomed with open and loving arms. However, again, we had to hire a new teacher and reconfigure classes. This meant shuffling students from four classes into five classes. Student’s, parent’s and teacher’s anxiety levels were high. My role was to calm some of the anxiety and ease the transition.
This September brought 3 expecting teachers. One teacher, who is expecting twins (yay!) had to begin her leave much earlier than anticipated. She was so upset to be leaving her little students behind. We calmed her and told her to go and put her feet up, she would be busy soon enough with her own little ones. More hiring…
This September brought tragedy to our little district…twice. Two grade 10 boys passed away suddenly within weeks of each other. These tragedies greatly affected our high school students, families, teachers and staff. I am so proud of our school district and how they have worked through these difficult days. We have been blessed with outstanding support provided by our Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, Director of Inclusive Education and Director of Religious Education. The tragedy also reached four other schools as we all feed into the same high school. One of those four schools was ours. One of the boys attended and his younger sister still attends our school. It has been a difficult time for the students, families and staff. Being new to the school, I did not know the boy, his sister or his family… I do now. I found it challenging to navigate my way through each day as I had never previously dealt with the death of a student. Ensuring that the right supports were in place for the right time and for the right person is a difficult task. I am proud of our school. We pulled together to support our students and each other. When his sister returned to school we had to work closely as a team. These were difficult days. Each new day seems to get a bit better for her, her close friends and the staff.
This September brought the death of our much loved family dog, Nutmeg. She was with us for 13 years and was loved by each of us. She always made things easy for us, her death was no exception. She was not well, she could not see or hear well and her back hips were getting worse by the day. So, instead of forcing us to make a difficult decision, she went peacefully in her sleep. We all spent time petting her and saying good-bye before we decided to bury her close to where my childhood dog is buried. It was an extremely difficult day for all of us. Watching my husband and children hurt broke my heart over and over and over again. Nutmeg is missed everyday, but we are confident that she is at peace, happier and healthier where she is.
This September brought me to reflect on what is important, and what is not important right now. I find myself spending more time with my children at the end of the day, doing homework, playing a game, reading a story or listening to their stories. I find myself spending more time in classrooms, in the hallways and outside with students. I have let go of some committees and commitments for right now.
And that was September…(and I very briefly wondered why I was so tired at the end of it!)
As much as I have gained through my experiences this past month, I am looking forward to October, hoping it may be a little less “eventful!”