Thoughts on the first day of school

Tomorrow is the first day of school…for me, sort of (it’s our faculty retreat—classes start next Monday), but also, for the first time, for my daughter.

Picture of my daughter at a very young age.My daughter starts Kindergarten tomorrow. It’s a short day for her, just a quick orientation and a spin around the parking lot on the school bus and then she’ll go back to daycare for the rest of the day. The real stuff starts on Wednesday, when she gets on the bus and goes for the entire day, and then repeats that every weekday for the next 9 months.

She’s very excited. I’m very excited for her. I loved school as a kid (and still do, obviously, since I’ve chosen to work at one!). Loved the rhythm of the school day and the school year. Loved learning and mastering new material. Loved the challenges.

My daughter starts kindergarten knowing some simple math and knowing how to read a bit. (Fittingly, she read a bedtime story to her brother and me tonight.) She’s also starting with a ton of creativity and imagination. She has a love for science, computers, and rocks that is a joy to behold. I am excited to watch her add to her skill set this year. I am excited to watch her blossom. I hope school allows her creativity and imagination to continue to flourish. I worry that her love of science, math, and technology won’t be nurtured enough.

Almost ready for kindergartenHaving a school-aged kid (ack! I’m too young for this!) reminds me just how important my role as educator is. I hope that during this academic year, I remember that my students all come to me with their own skill sets, with creativity and imagination and their own passions. I hope I provide them with the right challenges to help them master the course material. I hope as well to allow their creativity and imagination to flourish in my classes as they become better, more effective problem solvers. Finally, I hope I can help them develop a new passion for CS (if they don’t have one already!), and help them mesh their other passions with this CS passion.

Happy first day of school, to those of you starting tomorrow! And secret message to my daughter: we are so very proud of you, and wish you all the best on your school adventure!