I love that expression: “A clean slate.”
Maybe, I’d think each new school year, maybe this year would be new. So new that it would make me anew. Or at least make a new story:
Frantically gathering food for the day as I rushed to be in time for the bus, stuffing my paper-bag lunch into my backpack. By mid-day, the yogurt would break open and soak into my homework & textbooks.
Maybe this would be the year the yogurt stopped breaking?
Desperately wishing I’d started my homework earlier. Loathing and the self-loathing Sunday-night realization that I wasn’t prepared for Monday.
Maybe this would be the year my homework would stay under control?
Seeing my classmates laughing, connected, belonging – me an outsider looking in. Playing four-square at lunch, I’d be welcome to join but rarely invited.
Maybe this would be the year I’d have friends who wanted me?
These stories are simplifications of a deeper fear, a deeper hope. A hope for renewal, for change, was tied to all of my worst fears (and maybe yours too?): Will I fit in? Will I find my way through this maze? Will I be loved? Will I sit alone at lunch? Am I ok?
I wonder if, beneath my smiling surface, my teachers had any idea how I felt? I wonder if they ever glimpsed my hopeless hope, my longing for this new year to remake me into someone who was good enough.
I wonder if teachers reading this now might see more deeply into their new students. Could they gently understand the desperate longing that will soon fill the seats of their classrooms?
If you’re a teacher, what do you want your students to feel in the first minutes… first hours… by the end of the first day? It’s possible that’s exactly what they’ll bring into the room. It’s likely they will also have other feelings. Which will rise to the surface? In large part that will be shaped by the classroom context you create.”
 https://www.6seconds.org/2018/08/14/back-to-school-optimism-hope/Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.