Here in Michigan, Labor Day truly signals the end of summer as school starts on the Tuesday after for the vast majority of students in the state. It’s fun watching my children prepare for the year ahead in very different ways.
My son, an incoming junior in high school, finished his summer reading this past weekend, hasn’t located his backpack to use, and is spending more time worried about his appearance for school pictures on the 1st day than on determining exactly where he is supposed to go first on the 1st day!
My daughter, entering 7th grade, has had her backpack prepped for a few weeks, rechecked it several times to ensure everything is in the correct order within the backpack, and already knows where her 1st class is located so she can go right there when she arrives at school!
The vast differences in the preparation of these 1st days I imagine are quite reflective of not only their personalities, but age too. While he would not admit it, there is excitement in my son to get going in this year. Meanwhile, my daughter certainly has apprehension of a new year with new teachers and the rise of additional expectations that come with each advancing year in school.
These are the same feelings that appear in our people at work from time to time too. I’m sure someone you work with is experiencing excitement about future possibilities while another may be feeling anxious over events where they have little or no control. What are doing to support this spectrum of humanity? Do you know where you fall on it?
One of the reminders that I am most likely to use at work this time of year as we have many new people joining the District is that while we in HR have heard a question many times, for this person, this is their 1st time hearing our answer. Are we making sure that the answer is as complete and informative for this person as it was for the 1st person who asked it on our 1st day? It’s important that we make every effort to make it so!
Enjoy the 1st day. While you’re at it, enjoy the 1000th one just as much!
Best of luck to the kiddos on their 1st day! And thanks for the reminder that each person views a new challenge differently.