My nephew, who lives in Atlanta, started kindergarten today. For us northern folk, who reported to our classrooms nearly to the end of June, it seems a little early; school for our students is still four weeks away, but it's close enough for us to be mindful that the beginning of the year is a transition, and starting at a new school can be especially rough.
I was lucky enough to teach both of my older nephews when they were in sixth grade-- having them in my classroom made me much more empathetic to the students' experiences, and I'm a much better teacher because of that. My heart clenched a bit today when I heard that Richard cried a little on his first day of school. Even though the teacher in me recognizes that it's perfectly normal for some kids to feel anxious and emotional in a new situation, especially one as important as school, I was still sorry that any child, especially one I really really love, had to feel that way, and so I resolved to make this year the smoothest transition ever from elementary to middle school for the kids who are coming my way in just a few short weeks.