I stood resolute at my post, the early morning calm about to be broken by the approaching din of young voices and squeaky bicycles, a familiar and welcoming sound. It’s the first day of the new school year in Brighton, New York.
I stood prepared, blue book in hand, to take names and review notes, notes to refresh my memory of ‘old faces’ and add new names for new faces. As a school crossing guard, these are ‘my kids’ for the next ten months, learning their names is important.
And the ‘Curbside Classroom’ is reopened for business.
“Pick a card! Point it in the direction according to its label: North, South, East or West!”
That was the first day of school, a month ago, and I’m getting better with names, and the kids know we cross in an easterly direction.
It’s my job to see the kids make it safely across this section of busy roadway. A byproduct is to pick up a little knowledge along the way and start the day with a smile.
Students are familiar with my routine: expect questions, expect challenges, expect to learn something and expect to laugh. Remember, this spot along a busy roadway is a classroom, too, a ‘curbside classroom’.
In the month that has passed, we’ve discussed words and meanings (moot vs mute), the power of positive words (‘encouragement’…’some people have done more than they thought they could because others thought they could’…Zig Ziglar), setting lofty goals, like going to Mars (‘do you think we will land a person on Mars in your lifetime?’), and other sundry topics
A couple of boys have become teens since the first day, so we serenaded them with ‘Happy Birthday’. Remember being 13? There’s a gaggle of new middle school students whose confidence is growing. At the opposite pole are Seniors with pending decisions. Will it be college and the selection of a career path, or joining the workforce, maybe a military option? It’s nice to have plans but they’re still so very young.
Some things haven’t changed, though, since the end of the last school year, especially the smiles and the enthusiasm to learn or be challenged. So, pick a card and point it in the right direction. Directions are important, we need to know where we’re going in Life.
Together, we’ll go through the school year in heat, cold, rain and snow. We’ll cheer for ‘snow days’, high-five Fridays’, stress over exam days and continue to build strong foundations to support us when we finally ‘arrive at our destination’.
It all begins with a ‘good morning ‘ and a smile at our ‘Curbside Classroom’! Wish us well…
Steve (Oct 2019)
‘S’amusing’ blog at ‘srbottch.com’