New Year, New Life

New Year, New Life

This post originally appeared on Medium.

New Year, New Life

Image from Central Maine News http://www.centralmaine.com/2013/08/16/mt-blue-renovations-mostly-complete-in-time-for-new-school-year/

Today marked the first day for the Class of 2019 at Mt. Blue Campus, a class of 180 and growing, larger than that to which we’ve grown accustomed here in the western foothills of Maine.


This week it means ever changing rosters, rapidly evolving lesson plans, and a healthy degree of acceptance, communication, and trust at Mt. Blue.


Our rural district is now experiencing the welcome challenge of a population bubble in a region that has seen an entire shoe industry disappear, a forestry industry struggle to redefine itself, and a paper industry lose another limb in these past two weeks.

Why the growth? Hard to say. Farmington is a service center for many of the state agencies that provide help to families in need. Our state university campus and our county hospital have experienced some turn over and new hires seem to have brought families in tow. And perhaps people aren’t moving away in droves as they were in the early 2000s; we do have some decent employment opportunities in the area and one of the more enviable, thriving downtowns in Maine.

This week it means ever changing rosters, rapidly evolving lesson plans, and a healthy degree of acceptance, communication, and trust at Mt. Blue. (Adding to the struggle? HVAC catastrophes and off-line student management software.)

But for the kids? For the kids it’s the first week of school that brings with it all of the stresses and excitements, anxieties and hilarities of a new year. They are not likely thinking about the number of desks we are scrambling to find or the overloaded sections of honors ninth grade social studies. They are likely unphased by the hiring of several new special education staff in the elementary grades and the various ed tech positions yet to be filled at the high school. But many may be feeling more adjustment and discomfort than typical.

Teachers and staff just have to been more keen than usual that this may be the first time many of these students have walked these halls. There will be many who are returning to this community after time away and others who have known Franklin County by namesake only until just this weekend past.

It’s not just a new year for teachers; it could well be a whole new life for our students and their families.

Check out more of Dan Ryder’s thinkings on teaching and learning on his Twitter feed, website, and Wicked Decent Learning .

About Dan Ryder

Dan Ryder & Jeff Bailey, co-founders of Wicked Decent Learning, a blog, podcast, Twitter feed and who-knows-what-all-else devoted to teaching and learning in Vacationland and beyond. Teachers, dads, actors, writers, geeks, buds.

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