School Days Begin Again
When I think of the beginning of a school year, I am reminded of all things that smell fresh and new…new shoes, new satchel, new books, new scribblers, pens and pencils. Maybe for our grandparents, it was a new slate. Now, it is a new iPad which is rather like a slate, only with some fabulous new capabilities. Yes, technology for learning has certainly changed, but the feeling of tackling new subjects is still the exhilarating and frightening experience it always was.
Some of us are great at math but not writing. Others are terribly challenged by spelling. Some of us have no problem speaking up in class while others cower in the back as quiet as can be until recess or lunch. Some have lots of friends, where others have two or three close friends. Some of us like to follow the rules to the letter, while others are always colouring a little outside the lines. Teachers certainly do have challenges to accommodate all our wonderful qualities, and somehow, we make it through one way or the other, some with a notebook full of stars and others with a small collection of letters to our parents.
Oh well, school is our first step out into the world, and if we are lucky, we will have many great teachers who will help lead the way and prepare us for our future lives and careers. When they teach us things that we can’t at the moment see as valuable, we have to trust them, because eventually, even if it takes 30 years, guaranteed, you will actually use that bit of knowledge.
Someone told me once that education is “furniture for the mind”, and if we have a good basic education, we can become constant learners for the rest of our lives. Education is a tremendous gift.
So, as some of us begin this school year, be respectful to our teachers who, let’s face it, have not exactly taken an easy career path, but, nevertheless, a rewarding one to take us beyond our world and introduce us to all the things our world has to offer.
In closing, here is a poem written by one our seniors as a little tribute to their days at Clyde River School and how things have changed.
Memories of Clyde River School
By Hazel Beer
I sit in my chair by the window
And look down to Clyde River School
Where we learned the lessons from childhood
And especially the Golden Rule.
We walked through the fields in Autumn
Over meadows with glistening dew
And down through Murphy’s Hollow
Where we’d meet our neighbours, too.
At 9:30, the bell would ring
And each would take their seat
Then stand with heads bowed reverently
The Lords Prayer to repeat.
Some teachers were female
Others were male
Some were strict
And some were stale.
If you did something wrong
In the corner you’d stand
And stare at the wall
With books in your hand.
No indoor plumbing
So out you must go
In warm weather, it was fine
But winter, “Oh, Oh…”
You’d put on your coat
And wade through the snow
It wasn’t much fun
But you just had to go.
Now they have buses
To pick the kids up
Heated schools and washrooms
And all the good stuff.
We sometimes wonder
At the end of the day
If they’re any happier
or have time to play.