Children all across the country began a brand new school year recently. Numerous first time Kindergarten parents had a big lump in their throats. Where did the time go? Only last year their children were babies learning to walk. Tears brimmed in the eyes of parents sending their final child to school.

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But not everybody cried. After enduring a summer of unbearable heat and sibling rivalry, I am certain there were parents who did the happy dance.

I have had more than thirty first days of school as a student, parent, teacher and now a grandparent. As a result, I have been feeling rather nostalgic, not sad, lately.

In order to get my first day of school fix, I dug out one of my tote boxes full of photographs to look at pictures from my years at Rhema Christian School in Peterborough, Ontario.

I had to ask myself, just exactly what am I missing? Hmmmmmm.

  • Staff Meetings? Nope
  • Yard duty? Noope.
  • Assigning mandatory homework? Nooope.
  • Report Cards? Noooope
  • The first September cold? Nooooope.
  • Going to bed at 7:30? Noooooope.
  • Gym Class? Noooooooope

??? THEN WHAT???

  • I miss telling children that they had to go home today so they could come back the next day.
  • I miss interacting with students.
  • I miss reading aloud favourite children’s novels: Tales of a Fourth
    Grade Nothing, Owls in the Family,  Why Did the Underwear Cross
    the Road? and Pippi Longstocking.
  • I miss singing silly songs like “Poor Little Bug on the Wall”
    and 
    “Tinkerboxer” all the way to Toronto and back.
  • I miss taking my students into the community.
  • I miss our special events days: Making Gingerbread Houses.
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In particular, I miss teaching the unit Living Organisms because it included a trip to a pond. Students, toting clipboards and equipment, looked like budding scientists. Serious was the name of the game until someone filled their boots or fell into the pond.

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The Bones and Muscles unit was fun for everyone because we got to trace ourselves on a life-size sheet of paper and to draw every bone. Students were involved in lots of hands-on activities. Each one had a mission.

Our study of Nigeria was my favourite unit of all. What made it so special? Let me show you.

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Over the course of the unit, our classroom underwent a transformation. It became a jungle complete with palm trees, spitting cobras, elephants, giraffes, butterflies and even more.

Our study culminated with our version of a Nigerian Festival.
Students came to school dressed in awesome Nigerian garb. Willing, generous parents prepared, delivered and served recipes from Nigeria.

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We had an African Stone Game (Mancala) Tournament. And the winner was Brent M. or Jeremy A.? I don’t remember.

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Now I am scouring the faces of students in the photos. I wonder where life has taken them.

Elizabeth K. is a mom and teacher, Reinskje K. is a nurse, Sarah D. is a mom and nurse, Sarah S. is a real estate agent, Alex W. is a worship pastor and policeman, Lindsey W. is a mom and a teacher and Jordan L. is a Councillor in Cavan Monaghan Township. I don’t know about the others in the photo.  Laura N.? Emeline B.? Karen W.? Andrew H.? Candace M.? Brent M.? Mike V.? Chris H.? Joel A.?

Some staff rooms are poisonous places, but not Rhema’s. I miss the staff camaraderie. We were more than colleagues. We were friends, even kindred spirits. We giggled together. We shared meals together. We cried together. We carried one another’s burdens.

That was all very long ago and I know that life moves on. It is supposed to. We can’t live in the past because we will miss the joys of today. I have made peace with the changes that have occurred in my life. In short, I love life. 

I should make it abundantly clear that I am not looking for your sympathy. You won’t find me sitting around in my rocking chair twiddling my thumbs pining for the good old days. I am a busy (productive) lady with lots of irons in the fire. Actually, there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do.

  • I love spending every day with my hunny bunny. (He almost convinces me I can walk on water.)
  • I love writing my weekly blog “Every Day Matters.”
  • I love storytelling to audiences of all ages and occasions.
  • I love speaking to groups about Mental Illness.
  • I love educating groups about the fallout From Sexual Assault.
  • I love being able to split my time between Nova Scotia and Ontario.
  • But most of all, I loooooove being Nanny to Edison, Isaac, Maddie and Greta.

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Enough of my ramblings. Thanks for listening. I have had my yearly first day of school fix. I should be all set until the first day of school in 2017.

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