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A fresh start: The beginning of a new school year

By: Patrick Flannery
Representative, State of Kentucky

Across our commonwealth and right here at home, the anticipation of a new school year looms for students and teachers alike. Families are learning who their new partner in educating their children will be, and teachers are preparing classrooms to welcome a new class.

The first day of school is a chance for everyone to embrace a new challenge, to take advantage of the boundless opportunities that lie ahead. For new students, the school doors may seem a little frightening, as behind them is a whole new world full of unknown faces and unfamiliar territory. Even older students may be a bit hesitant as they face new schedules and get to know their new teacher’s and understand their expectations.

Teachers, too, have spent days preparing their lesson plans, activities, and creating an inviting space that inspires learning and growth. They stand at the front of the classroom, ready to kindle the spark of curiosity and guide their students through learning and understanding. These women and men will have a profound impact on their students’ lives. As they share their passion for the subjects they teach, their enthusiasm becomes infectious, stirring a desire for knowledge in the hearts of their pupils. 

Families are also critical to a child’s education. After all, parents are their child’s first and best teachers and the same is true for extended family and those in guardianship positions. While family members guide children through the early childhood, the work does not end when they get on the big yellow bus. As family members, we must encourage children, provide the necessary tools, and partner with teachers and school staff. We must also instill values like discipline, perseverance, and respect, as well as encourage curiosity.

Together, students, teachers, and parents can build a foundation for a lifetime of learning and success. As the days turn into weeks, routines and familiarity settle in, and the initial awkwardness gives way to genuine connections. Friendships are formed, and a community is created. We need that community. In a world where so many seek to divide, there is a great deal of promise in restoring a sense of community.

The new school year is a time of opportunity. Students embark on a journey of learning, setting goals and working diligently to achieve them. It is not always easy, but challenges teach the resilience that comes with determination, knowing that each obstacle is an opportunity for growth.

In this time of new beginnings, we all wish the best for our children and those who work together to help them learn. With hearts full of hope and minds brimming with curiosity, students, teachers, and parents embrace the promise of a new school year—a journey of knowledge, growth, and endless possibilities.

As always, I can be reached at home anytime or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Patrick.Flannery@lrc.ky.gov. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky legislature’s home page atlegislature.ky.gov

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