04 September 2017

Back to school emotions

The end of summer is swiftly approaching. Soon the new school year will be starting, with students heading back to classrooms around the country in stiff new uniforms, ready for another year of learning.

It happens every year and yet it seems no one is prepared for the summer months to pass so quickly. Wishful thinking perhaps?

Here we go again

Parents might be letting loose a quiet sigh of relief at the prospect of a little calm time regained for themselves, while teachers buckle in for the busy year ahead and students anxiously await everything that a new school year brings – new classes, new friends, new skills. It's an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved.

The fresh start of the school year is actually a time of change for everyone in a local community – even those who aren't at school anymore. An annual marking of the passage of time, the start of a new term brings a certain nostalgia even for the elderly and childfree, and those may feel far removed from the family hustle and bustle as the kids head back to school again.

A mix of emotions gets swept up as September rolls around. The children's feelings may sway from denial as the clock ticks down to the end of the holidays, to anguish (yes, perhaps a bit melodramatic!), to melancholy, and finally to begrudging acceptance that, yes, school is starting whether they like it or not.

The first day

A survey of 2,000 parents showed that the most emotional milestone for British mums and dads in bringing up a child is the first day at school. So parents may feel a completely different range of emotions to their school-going offspring. 

They might run from a glimmer of hope and anticipation of having some free time back for themselves, to sadness and maybe even a bit of regret that they were so quick to get the little ones out the door on the first day of the school year. And that's just a handful of the feelings the average British parent goes through at back to school time.

What about the teachers?

We mustn't forget about teachers either. These intrepid heads of the classroom have their own emotional mountain to climb as well. Just before the beginning of the new school year is when national newspapers start wheeling out psychologists to advise teachers with articles on how to mentally prepare for the stresses of the job.

While teachers may be looking for emotional support from their intimate circle of friends and family, they also have a lot of resources available to them, such as this great list from the Highly Effective Teacher on how to get ready as summer winds to a close and the first day of term looms on the calendar.

It's a tumultuous time of year, but soon the bumps will smooth themselves out as we all ease into the autumn. Before you know it the Christmas holidays will be around again. Perhaps even too soon?

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