The first day of school – life transitions…
Yesterday my daughter had her first day of secondary school.
Like many other parents I marked the event by photographing her in her new school uniform (in the same place that I photographed her brother two years ago).
And of course I couldn’t help thinking back to her first day at primary school and my own first day at secondary school (there’s a picture somewhere!!) and wondering where the time had gone..!
The move to secondary school is a major life change or transition
(although a change might occur on a particular calendar date, transition is a psychological process that takes time).
“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions” William Bridges
While we might focus now on – and in the future remember – the first day of a new school, changing from primary to secondary school has three distinct stages:
1. My daughter left primary school in July (where she’d been for 7 years).
Like children up and down the country, she had multiple leaving events at school and left school with mementos of her time there (photographs, a video, a gift of a book, her T-shirt covered in messages from her friends and teachers…)
2. She then entered the summer holiday period having left her old school but not yet started at her new school.
Suddenly the question
“What school do you go to?”
becomes tricky to answer succinctly!
3. Yesterday marked the beginning of her time at her new school.
She went in equipped with new uniform, bag, pencil case etc and she will now start to get used to new routines.
Managing life’s transitions
These three stages remind me of the three stages of Bridges’ transitions model (endings, the neutral zone, new beginnings) and make me wonder…
…do we put the same effort into our transitions when we change job, move home, get married, have children..?
If we are part of, or lead, a team – how are we managing the transitions through changes at work?
[For more on transitions see books by William Bridges e.g. ‘Transitions – making sense of life’s changes. Strategies for coping with the difficult, painful, and confusing times in your life.’]
How do you deal with transition? What are your strategies for coping with change?
And what do you remember about your first day of school??
Let me know your thoughts by adding your comments below…
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