Going back to school — sort of

3 Sep

This has been a very weird start to the new school year for me.

The first day of school for students isn’t until Wednesday, but teachers and support staff were already back all last week, setting up their classrooms, reconnecting with their colleagues, and basically preparing mentally and physically for another unusual school year.

But I’m not there.

Having retired from my job as a library teaching assistant from the district in June, I’m watching from the sidelines for the first time in 20 years. It’s definitely a little weird, and a little sad. But thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I’ve been able to vicariously enjoy those back-to school meetings and strategy sessions.

I saw photos from State Road Elementary School, for example, where staff members held their opening circle outside in the parking lot and playground. Facebook photos from Plank North showed all of my former colleagues clumped up in very familiar discussion groups. Some schools are posting their staff photos, where everyone is packed on risers and clearly grinning broadly behind their masks with opening-day excitement. Others, like Webster Schroeder, had their teachers hold personalized signs indicating how long they’d been in the district.

I even got a special invitation several days ago from Schlegel Elementary School principal Francine Leggett to join my former colleagues when they took a field trip on Wednesday to Jack’s Place playground in Webster Park to explore and reflect upon this year’s theme of “We are crew.”

In short, the idea of “being crew” is that everyone (students and staff) is working together towards the same goal, helping each other achieve and be successful. On their field trip this week, teachers and support staff actually took an important first step toward connecting with their student community by taking a bus ride through every one of the neighborhoods the school serves, before arriving at the playground.

I don’t miss all the meetings, but it was nice to see many of my old colleagues in photos and on the playground. Here are a few photos from that day at the park.

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4 Responses to “Going back to school — sort of”

  1. Kathy Taddeo September 3, 2021 at 1:55 pm #

    The first September after I retired, I drove by my classroom and burst into tears. Had to pull over. Had no I dea all those feelings were inside me. 20 years later… just happy memories!

    You will not feel weird forever!

    Kathy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • websterontheweb September 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm #

      Maybe it’s luck or maybe fate, but I already have a few half-day sub jobs the first week of school. So I’m actually going to be back at Schlegel on Day 1!!

  2. Jacqueline LaBarge September 4, 2021 at 9:27 am #

    You do a really nice job keeping us all informed of Webster happenings. I enjoy all of your postings. Thank you for all of your effort !!

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