A New Year

Friday, August 22, 2014 - By: Clayton Johnston

Another school year is like a fresh start and a new beginning, a chance for rebirth. A time to improve, reinvent and reignite.

One of the amazing things about being involved in education as a vocation is that one spends a lifetime immersed in the same annual routine. Not much changes with age when you work in a school. The major rhythms of the year, the gearing up and winding down and all the great stuff in between has really not changed for me since kindergarten!

In a North American school, a ‘year’ typically begins in September, not January. When we speak of a year, we think of September to June. When we say “next year” we mean next school year and we assume the rest of the world thinks the same way. We get small pangs of anxiety when we see yellow school buses on the highway or “Back to School” advertisements in August; just like we did when we were kids.

The first few days of September are nervous times for teachers and students alike as we all get to know each other. In a boarding school we learn a great deal more about each other and ultimately this is what makes the bonds so deep. Friends for life are about to be created in September. Futures are to be determined.

This year we have over 185 new students joining us from 32 countries around the world. Many are already packing up and beginning to prepare for their journey to Mill Bay. Most are coming from Canada but 19% of our school will be traveling from quite a distance and will be a long way from their families.

What can they expect when they arrive? My experience shows that they will be greeted with an almost overwhelming wave of warmth, acceptance, caring and empathy. Within minutes they will be openly embraced and feel a great affiliation and sense of belonging.

We are so excited for this school year to begin. Travel well, welcome to the Brentwood family and we will see you all soon.

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