Nostalgia and alphabet rugs

Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday was the big day in Suffolk.

Thousands of students were getting ready for their first day back to school.

I love back-to-school time. It’s just one of the best times of the year.

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Everything is fresh and new, yet known and familiar.

There’s routine in going back to school but it’s also a little mysterious as you face new subjects and teachers and meet new friends.

And the first day back is the perfect fulfillment of all that excitement and intrigue encapsulated into one big event.

Even now, I can feel a twinge of jealousy of students climbing aboard those giant yellow buses and walking through their school doors for the first day, because I can remember how much I loved heading back to school.

Then again, back to school was kind of a big deal at my house, anyway, because it was back-to-school time for everyone in my house.

My dad has been a middle-school principal for decades.

Mom is a history teacher, who has taught practically every history course possible in her tenure, whether it be Aztec ruins, tea parties in Boston or presidential vetoes.

Even my brother followed the education route and is a sixth-grade English teacher in Virginia Beach.

Maybe it was growing up around teachers that began my enjoyment of all things scholastic, but I certainly felt it again last week as I went to Elephant’s Fork Elementary School to meet with two teachers, Jacqueline Lawrence and Heather Smith.

As part of our back to school paper on Tuesday, we thought it would be fun to highlight one veteran teacher who is gearing up for yet another school year, as well as talking with one new teacher preparing for their first ever school year.

Walking into their Early Start and first-grade classrooms was like walking into an old memory from elementary school. They had the colorful bulletin boards, the pre-made nametags and the alphabet rugs with pictures of words that begin with its corresponding letter (there was a queen next to the q and an apple next to the a).

And if the teachers’ enthusiasm was any indication of the education their students were going to receive under their care, I can only tell you that these children will have no problems.

Both teachers were happy, excited and anxious to start the year and meet their future students.

“I love my job,” Lawrence said. “I love it. You get the chance to start the children out at the beginning of their school years. It’s wonderful.”

Anyway, thanks again to Elephant’s Fork for letting us stop by. I hope everyone is having a great week starting off the school year, and is breaking in all of their brand new school supplies!