Next week is our third week of school PreK-8, fall 2021. I would like to share how happy the children are. I have seen and started teaching most of the school population this week and can inform the public and families what amazing, sweet warriors these children are, PreK-8, and what a good place school is.

I will never forget our first day of school two weeks ago. I held the door open for grades 6-8 to enter their first fall day. They were skipping and bouncing along the sidewalk, smiles shone through their masks. They were impeccably dressed, and the energy and enthusiasm should have been bottled, labeled and shared nationally. This is the same observation and feeling, though a little developmentally less controlled, for grades K-5. It is time to get back to school.

This vibrant, thankful, societal experience and routine has begun again. It has begun in person, with masks, some distance and with an energy, resilience and perseverance I have not observed in my more than 20 years as a teacher. I personally look at almost all students' faces each week. I see mostly their shining eyes and wiggly bodies, ages 5-14. I truly see a readiness, thirst, willingness and an energy for learning, socializing and creating for the future and beyond.

Comparable energy and enthusiasm would be to compliment the administration and staff. We are all glad to be back for the children and our important, valued profession. Everybody is in person, with masks, in classrooms, with sanitizer, crazy schedules and class sizes, loads of work and patience ahead, followed by all the rewards that go with each day.

Please stay informed with integrity, stay healthy and safe for the sake of our children. Our children are our future.

Patricia Hayes

Mount Vernon

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