• Jeff Clayton

The First Day of School

For 20+ years, my favourite day has been the first day of school at WillowWood. Students enter happy to be back. The first day is joyful and free of anxiety (mostly. The anxious are welcomed and quickly made to feel comfortable). 


Of course, this was my first pandemic first day, so I wondered how it would go. When we returned in early August to prepare the school for a safe return, I noticed phases: trepidation one day, countered by the welcome familiarity; fear initially, transformed by the thorough and thoughtful COVID plan we created. Masks were tiring to wear all day, but that eased each time (and with each mask tried) - and when the full staff arrived, the school filled with its natural spirit. By the day before school started, I felt pretty confident. 

And then the students joined us, this week, and the school popped back the way a desert responds to water. Suddenly, life. Suddenly, spirit. Online and in person, our students have returned with confidence and strength, and have maintained their powerful positivity. Now it feels easy to be here, joyful. 

So it's still my favourite day. Even in a pandemic, it's my favourite day. Thank you all for that.


Jeff Clayton


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