August is all blank pages, perfect packets of blue tack, unspoiled walls and optimism. The very littlest always seem littler with every year that passes. The older ones don’t quite own their Grade yet, looking slightly out of place.
Those first few days pass, leaving you wondering if the rhythm will ever regulate, if the routines will ever be established and if the real work will ever start.
But it always does.
Before you can say the dog ate my homework, you’re waist heigh in projects, events and discussions. Your bogged down by the next to-do and inspired by all those moments of magic.
Just when you think you’ll never see sunlight again, the winter slog is rewarded with the long, spring days. The corner turns as each class takes shape and finds its identity. The oldest ones are soon gone, their lives outside of the classroom ready to begin.
Through events and assessments, lost homework and discovered talent, the days feel long while the weeks fly by, with summer framing the calendar, the warm, stuffy dividing line.
Then, suddenly, July is on the horizon.
Note books are full and the work is done. The sagging displays are pulled down and the blue tack is a sticky, ink-stained blob. It clings to the walls, relinquishing to only the most determined of tidier. Everyone has grown, reached the oldest they’ll be in this school year, their height marked on door frames or charts, showing how far they came in these recent months.
After emotional goodbyes, last-ditch initiatives and final reflections, it’s off into the sunset, for a few weeks at least, to take stock and reenergise, to nest and prepare.
Because August will come and we’ll all be surprised as the sense of déjà vu sets in to comfort and remind us of how it all works and what’s ahead.
But, for now, we’ll tidy and we’ll celebrate. We’ll work and we’ll play. We’ll enjoy this end of this year. We’ll be glad we were part of something so like the other school years gone before, and yet, for some reason we can’t quite put our finger on, entirely unique.