Labor Day – A New Beginning?

walking to school with backpacks

For many Americans Labor Day represents the end of their summer. It’s the last days of going to the beach, finishing their vacations and returning home to begin September events. As a holiday Labor Day is at heart a celebration of the hard-won achievements of America’s labor movement and a recognition of what workers have contributed to the nation’s prosperity. I think we should give some appreciation to our workforce that makes America what it is and gives us so many opportunities to enjoy the commerce that is available to us.

However, for many this holiday is a bit of a reset to their lives. I’m thinking of the many students who begin their new school year and recognize the potentials and some of the challenges that lie before them. As I speak to many parents, they are acutely aware that some of their kids are in transition. It could be change of schools due to age, grade or even a geographical change. It could be a beginning of some of the subjects that are required that they have never experienced. A big issue is when their social relationships and friendships change. Any of these circumstances can create a Labor Day beginning that could have both some angst and some opportunities.

For students who attend schools like Lakeside for the first time, this new school can be a significant change. Many have not been successful in the past year and ended the year in one of our schools, where they became familiar with another way to do therapeutic education. For new students it’s a total change from what they experienced in their past school to a new environment that has counseling, group work, behavior management support, and a different form of academic expectations.

If a student experiences fear, anxiety, depression, anger, or other negative stress responses about school, it will take some time before they’ll be able to navigate the struggles of school. It also takes relational effort and support for students to trust the environment and people in that environment. That means our staff has to be intentional to be patient, listen well, strategize creatively, and build trust over time through their communication and connection to our students.

As hard as it may be, Labor Day marks the beginning of a new day for these students. It’s a second chance to reshape their academic and personal lives as they explore new relationships and opportunities for growth. Change can be difficult, but thousands of prior and current students attending Lakeside are in relationship with amazing individuals who care, who help them cope and who can bring about positive change that will last a lifetime.

As we enjoy our Labor Day activities, we also can recognize the new beginnings that so many students will experience as they begin this next life reset. It’s the excitement we create each new school year because of our amazing staff and programs.

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