2013-09-20 / Columnists

Slice of Life

By Beth Hanning

Have you ever wondered why the start of the year does not align with the beginning of the school year? I feel I make more New Year's Resolutions in September than I do in January. Even one of my friends who does not teach or have children said she feels like September is a new beginning.

First of all, who does not feel brand new with all of those fancy school supplies? The excitement as a young student going to Rogoff’s that first day and getting your school supplies was so exciting. Plus, you saw everyone in town there. I could not wait to write my name on all of my new supplies. The one thing I did always hate was that my strict Catholic school would never let us have spiral notebooks. Our teachers told us the metal would uncoil and the metal would then stab us to death. I was so excited when I entered high school to purchase a five subject spiral notebook. Surprisingly I am still around to tell the tale. A few loose coils, but no deaths. Now most schools send the supply list home in June so parents can get the sales over the summer. I know it is economical, but I do not think it is as fun as the old way. When my daughters ask me for something I tell them to check the school supply bin. They do not even pick out their own folders! I do!

September is the time of year for that student who often gets in a bit of trouble. I would start every September saying “I am not going to get in trouble for talking.” Those of you who know me know that I always got into trouble for talking. But, I had hoped that each school year would be different. Even my students tell me “This is the year Mrs. Hanning. I am going to work hard.” Some might break their resolutions, but at least they tried.

September for teachers is very similar. I still get excited for my new supplies even though they have changed tremendously over the years. I do not even use chalk! I have dry erase markers and I love trying out all of the colors. Colorful items make supplies seem far more superior. When I hand out a packet with my shiny blue staples all of the students are excited. (It’s the little things). The one supply that has stayed the same for me is the pencil. My daughters love the lead pencil. I cannot use it. Every time I press down the lead breaks in half. So, I love to purchase decorative pencils. I have personalized ones, holidays, and smiley faces, just to name a few.

September is also when as a teacher the grade book is a blank page. I teach high school, mostly seniors. September is when everything is right in the world. No one is talking back yet; everyone is still copying notes and cooperating. Senioritis hits at different times every year. So far I feel this year’s seniors are going to stay with me mentally until at least Christmas.

Have a good week! Let me know what your favorite school supply was. Was it a special lunch box? I could write a whole column on lunchboxes. Email me at beth81772@aol.com.

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