Embrace the Joy of a New School Year

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September 11, 2018

I so love the weekends. Especially when I get a visit from my grandson! 
Malakai is a typical 7-year-old kid who expects to be entertained 24/7. One weekend, after 5 minutes of intense play, he approached me with a dilemma only a child can appreciate: a serious case of boredom. 
“I don’t have anything to do.”  Which in his world meant, “There is nothing on TV.” And, “Grandma, your iPad isn’t charged, so I can’t play any games!”
Ad nauseam he whined on and on about the torturous lack of fun in his life until I couldn’t stand it anymore. 
“Why don’t you just entertain yourself?” I blurted out. “Use your imagination.” 
His first reaction? “I won’t like that. Why would I want to do that? How come I never get to do what I want to do?” he asked, so deflated that I didn’t provide the “right” answer to his dilemma.  But I held firm and kept promoting my suggestion – use your imagination. 
Finally, he relented. The next few minutes slowly turned from him being in intense thoughts (oh, the pain I must have put his brain through!) to a flurry of activities. He spent the next 20 minutes running in and out of the room presenting me with a variety of requests.
“Can I have some paper?”  ”Where are the scissors?”  ”Don’t ask me why but what is your favorite color? Why? Groan. I said, don’t ask me!” “Do you have any tape?”  “Don’t look!!!” And finally ... he was ready. 
Now it doesn’t really matter what he acted out for me, although I’m sharing a photo of him “in costume.” (I still laugh looking at that mustache and bow tie!) And what he performed was nonsensical silliness that truly had no beginning, theme, or plot twists – major or minor. What mattered, though, was that he was finally able to let go and embrace the joy he was experiencing in trying something new, being creative and thinking outside the box. After a few minutes, he was able to get lost in the moment, and he didn’t really care about anything but this new adventure.  
As you are getting immersed in this new school year, I hope you are able to enjoy what these next few months will bring you: New classroom experiences. New teaching opportunities. New daily challenges.   
It can be overwhelming and at times, you will feel deflated because it is not going the way you want it to. Just keep remembering that you are making a difference. Your impact on your students may not be immediately felt or appreciated. In fact, you may never see the results of your actions. Always remember that you are making a difference. You may feel that you have the weight of the world on you, but please know that you are valued and what you do matters.   
And for each and every day, never forget to always embrace the joy.  
I have great joy in sharing one of my favorite grant rounds with you – our Scholastic book grant – where you could win one of 1,500 grants!  What a great way to provide your students the opportunity to get lost in the joy of a good book. Imagine that! This grant round ends September 30, 2018. 
Have a great school year and thank you for all that you do.  All of us at Meemic sincerely appreciate you!