The September Reset

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A mom hugging her daughter before she gets on the school bus.I know as a teacher, I’m not supposed to say this, but I love September. I think of that old Staples commercial where the dad is prancing through the aisles of school supplies as the holiday song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love summer for so many reasons. Long nights, later alarms, lazy mornings with a second cup of coffee, no lesson planning (!); but it’s also a wild, lawless place where you eat ice cream before dinner and fly kites on the beach at bedtime. 

Spring is meant to be the season of rebirth, but I think for teachers and people with school-aged children, September is the true restart.

There are new classes, new clothes, new friends, new backpacks, and new routines. I get to learn over one hundred new names and faces. There’s a frantic energy to the start of a new school year, and every email home from schools is about excitement and jitters, but what I mostly feel is calm. Order feels restored. 

It has only been a few days, but I can already see the effects of the structure and support of school life on my kids. They’re getting to bed on time, for one, but they’re also more interactive with each other, less prickly. I see my older son bringing home his lessons about following rules and routines and passing them on to his little brother, leading by example. 

I also feel good knowing that my sons are with trained professionals helping them become better learners and kinder humans who attend to needs that are often beyond the scope of what we can do at home. It doesn’t take a fellow teacher to know that what goes on in our kids’ classrooms every day is remarkable.

Summer allows us to hold down the power button letting all our programs go dark, and September is when we finally let go as the screen flashes bright and comes alive with possibility.

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Juliana is an English teacher, aspiring novelist, and mother to redheaded sons. (No, her husband doesn't have red hair. Yes, it was a surprise!) She grew up in Scarsdale and now teaches at her rival high school - Mamaroneck - where she also lives with her (brown-haired) husband, Mike, and their two (orange-haired, according to Noah) sons, Noah (2016) and Simon (2019). When she has a free moment (haha) she is reading something: YA Romance, humorous essays, poetry, thrillers, student work, and, sometimes, her own works-in-progress.

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