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  • Jo Fontana

It's that time again!

I’m so grateful to live in a beautiful place that has all four seasons. Just when I get tired of say, the heat, it seems that the days suddenly start getting shorter and there’s a chill to the breeze that wasn’t there before. Ever since I was small, fall seemed like a time for new beginnings, even though I knew spring was was the time associated with new beginnings. Where I grew up, school didn’t start until the Wednesday after Labor Day and I miss that sometimes. The crisp air, leaves crunching under your feet, and the smell of autumn was invigorating. It felt like I had more energy to do things. Fall felt like hope and it was exciting.

I’m hoping that fall will get here sooner rather than later. It’s been a hot summer and I’m employed by a school. Unfortunately for us, our old building doesn’t have air conditioning yet. It’s been mentioned that the big upgrade (which hopefully includes air conditioning) isn’t scheduled until 2020. I’m crossing my fingers that we actually get the air conditioning then.

Either way, I wouldn’t want to move to a newer building even if it had air conditioning. The school we’re in is now over 50 years old. It has character and I believe every great school, like ours, has character. There are certain stairwells and places in the building that aren’t as well used as others and the air has a stillness to it. There is also the smell of many decades prior, reminiscent of pencils, paper, potential, hope, and excitement. The happy memories left by past students linger in these places. Sometimes, when I’ve had a tough day, I walk to the staff stairwell and stand there for a minute. It’s very peaceful and grounding. I think of all the students that have walked the halls of the school in the past. For many of them, current students included, school is a safe place. Sometimes even safer than being at home. I know when I was a kid, my elementary school was a haven. I loved the library and the teachers figured out how to use that as a motivation.

I’m grateful for the technology we have and what is available for the students now, but I’m glad technology didn’t come to the classroom until my junior year in high school. I had the best of both worlds. I learned some of the emerging technology at school without having the added drama of cell phones and social media. Sometimes now technology causes kids stress much more than in years past.

Here in Colorado, school starts at the end of August. Mid-August for the staff, but I digress. I’m very excited for this school year to begin. The hope, excitement, and realization of potential looms closer and is comforting. The start of school has begun and I am enjoying reconnecting with coworkers. Mostly though, I can’t wait for the kids to return. It’s great to be around the students and after having the summer break, I’m happy to see them again.

Me coming home from school

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© 2018 Jo Fontana