Cute boy with parents choosing backpack in school stationery store

Cute boy with parents choosing backpack in school stationery store

RODEN: Basking in warm glow of back to school

Looking ahead to a new school year, from a variety of perspectives

It’s less than two weeks until the start of a new school year.

This means that while children everywhere are looking forward to getting back to the structure and discipline of the classroom, parents are bemoaning the fact that their own carefree summer days are coming to an end.

“Tracy S.,” who has two daughters aged 11 and nine, says she is “dreading” the day when school is back in session.

“It’s wonderful having so much freedom over the summer. No battles about getting them ready in time for the bus, or making sure their homework is done, or that you’ve signed all the forms for the field trip on Friday.

“And don’t get me started on school lunches. There’s so much pressure on parents — and let’s be honest, it’s the moms who feel it — to provide lunches that are healthy, varied, and aesthetically pleasing. One mom I know gets up at 5 a.m. to make fresh sushi for her kids, and another has taken courses in food staging so her meals look fantastic.

“My girls love the organic quinoa salad I make them, but it is time-consuming. I like to think that the edible flowers I garnish it with are a nice touch. I saw that on Pinterest.”

School administrators, meanwhile, are looking forward to dealing with a new provincial government regulation around students’ immunization records.

A statement from the BC School Principals’ Association last week said “Despite the fact that this new initiative was announced hastily in spring 2019, we received only sparse details after the school year ended, and have had no clear direction as to what will be involved or who will administer it, we are confident that since the provincial government is involved everything will go smoothly with no confusion, and there will be no additional workload for staff on the ground in our schools.”

Teachers are currently embroiled in contract negotiations, and some welcome this return to old times.

“Frankly, I was kind of worried when the NDP took power in 2017,” says “Barry,” a 25-year teaching veteran. “We [the BCTF and the BC Liberals] put a lot of time and effort into building up the acrimonious relationship we enjoyed for so many years, and it was a bit disheartening to realize that with the NDP taking power, all of that hard work might go down the drain.

“It’s good to see that things are getting back to normal, and both sides can once again return to the status quo we enjoyed for so long. Traditions are a great thing, and it’s always sad to see them go.”

School buses will soon be back on the road, and that day can’t come fast enough for “Margaret T.,” whose husband “Peter” is a longtime driver.

“It’s not so bad at the start of the summer,” says Margaret, who doesn’t drive because of a medical condition. “But as we get into August, he really begins to miss driving bus. I can tell, because he starts to make me sit in the back seat, and tells me I can’t speak to him while he’s driving because it’s a distraction. It’s not so bad when we’re just going into town, but it was a bit hard when we drove to Prince George to see the grandkids.

“Yesterday he told me off because I didn’t look both ways before exiting the car. When I told him that since we were parked in our driveway at the time I felt it was safe, he threatened to report me to the school and have my riding privileges revoked.”

Custodian “Betty M.” is also looking forward to the students coming back, but it’s not because of the bustle and life they bring to a building that has been quiet for two months.

“I don’t see much of the kids, to be honest, because of my shift. And I appreciate being able to get to stuff during the summer that I can’t during the school year, but it’s kind of boring.

“There are no surprises, like finding an uneaten quinoa salad dumped under the stairwell. I have to say that the flowers were a nice touch, though.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ucluelet local Geoff Johnson snapped this photo of a Risso’s dolphin that washed up near Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Geoff Johnson photo)
Washed up Risso’s dolphin offers glimpse into “whole other world” near Tofino

“It’s like a UFO crash landed and you can come look at it”

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
Vancouver Island minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

3L Developments has stated it is pulling the plug on its plans to build a residential neighbourhood in the Stotan Falls area. The company has repeatedly offered to turn the Stotan Falls area into parkland, if the CVRD were to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for a residential community to be built in the area. The CVRD has steadfastly turned down the development company. File photo.
Plugged pulled on decade-old Comox Valley development project

3L Developments say there will be no further development applications filed for Stotan Falls

The profitability of Victoria International Airport dropped by almost $17 million in 2020 because of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)
Victoria International Airport revenues in a tailspin

While airport made $9.2 million in profits 2019, COVID-19 brought estimated losses of $7.5 million

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Education and Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting a second chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The Gardens at Qualicum Beach is now owned by family-owned The Care Group. (
The Gardens at Qualicum Beach has new owners

Family has travelled to Qualicum Beach for more than a century

Most Read