There always seems to be something stimulating about the start of a new school year. In many ways, it provides an opportunity to start fresh. The past school year is long over, its history. The one ahead is brand new – from subjects to teachers to students.

For each class, there are no grades yet; everyone is even.

The old parental comment about “teenagers don’t know how good they have it” is true, yet very few under the age of 18 believe it.

Other than school, there are few times later in life when a fairly clean slate is available every twelve months (especially with a three-month break prior to beginning anew).

Starting a new school year offers just this opportunity.

The thought of this new opportunity improves the attitudes and motivates the young spirits. Over the nine months, the freshness withers, relationships wear, and everyone graded. The challenge is how to keep the “fresh start” attitude, spirit, work ethic, and brain engaged over the complete school year.

This is the challenge for parents, teachers, and students alike.

Parents and teachers need to coach, guide, and inspire. Students need to be open, positive, and engaged.

Great leaders, philosophers, and writers always serve as an inspirational source. Below are a few which hit the mark and may give us something to consider.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is a mix of attitude and always, always doing your best.


Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved. May a “fresh start” attitude and spirit be present all year long.

Any suggestions or thoughts on how to keep young, learning spirits (aka teens) engaged throughout the school year?