Mixed emotions as we board the bus

Published 2:07 pm Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010

When it comes to the start of the school year, the delicate combination of emotion — excitement, trepidation, apprehension and encouragement — is ever present whether one is a student, a parent, a teacher or administrator.

Excitement can be found in the first day alone, in finding the new locker, meeting the new (and catching up with the old) friends and teachers and getting the new year off to a good start.

Sure, nobody likes homework (and students should remember — their homework will eventually become the teacher’s homework), but every new year is a next step, another chapter that will eventually lead to a future free of the stuff so even the most reluctant pupil would have to admit the first day of school is not always so despised.

And of course, there’s always great trepidation. For some, it’s in facing certain challenges, be it areas of study or social interaction. For parents, it can be in seeing their little ones off to their first day in the classroom.

For teachers and administrators, it can be in the form of facing their own capabilities in teaching the future generations with stressed schedules and limited resources.

Throughout the state, there is a sense of apprehension. Schools are under constant and increasing financial restraint and try as they might, unless government officials get a handle on their finances when it comes to education, the matter will impact the classroom — if it hasn’t already. And that’s a shame, because the goal is to get students to succeed and to cheat them out of opportunity is to fail them.

All that apprehension was at the forefront of the education spectrum last year — especially here at home, as financial woes led to the closing of a beloved school, threatening the well-being of surrounding districts including Cassopolis, Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan.

And those financial troubles don’t seem to be ending any time soon as schools are also facing darkened reputations as they struggle against state standards.

But — just as there is at every start of a new school year — there is a sense of encouragement as textbooks are pulled and teachers reclaim their desks.

There seems to be a renewed focus, a renewed fight to forge ahead and focus on the importance of education here and abroad, primarily, secondarily and continually.

Maybe it’s just that new school year spirit, new books, new school supplies, new faces.

Maybe it’s been there all along.

Either way, as the school year begins — here’s hoping the fight to educate students to their utmost potential continues.

And we should all be pretty excited about that.