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The concept of the orphan made-good winning the hearts of their new community was fairly common to the classic children’s literature I consumed a child, but by far, Anne of Green Gables was the most well-worn tome of my youth. Because Anne was a heroine who was and remained less than perfect – quirky, impulsive, overly romantic and emotional, supersmart and always getting into scrapes and while she learned a great deal, her stories didn’t have a character arc where she became calmer or conditioned. She did evolve, for sure, becoming more mature, more empathetic, but her passion and her spirit were unchanged and were celebrated by her community and by us, her readers. My favourite quote from the whole collection acknowledged Anne’s promise, her (un-Pollyanna-ish) positivity, her capacity for growth and her self-awareness:

‘Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?’


A fresh start can commence with a new term, of course, when we all generally feel invigorated on that first morning back, but that fresh start can commence any day for any of us. Here are five ways to let go and choose to start each day fresh:

  1. Everyday with the many personalities we encounter, a number of factors can influence how we act and react to any given situation, so the same situation tomorrow may impact us differently depending on how we woke up, went to sleep or any number of things that may have happened on the way to school. We need to keep things in perspective.
  2. Holding on to something that didn’t serve us well the first time will likely stunt forward movement and also potentially harm us in ways that aren’t always evident immediately – it takes an enormous effort that just wastes energy and there are far more productive ways to spend our time. We must focus forward and see the best in each situation, at least after we sleep on it if we couldn’t see it right away. Distance from a situation always makes it easier to recognize.
  3. Being positive and finding the moments we can hold on to that fill us with good feelings promotes the longevity of our careers. If we hold on to every altercation or challenging moment, we’d burn out almost immediately. Sending an affirmation to a colleague, re-read cards from old students or colleagues as a reminder as to why we do what we do. Making an impact on even one other person’s life is enough to reset the clock sometimes.
  4. New days promote new perspective and perhaps what wasn’t clear yesterday, will be today. There are endless possibilities at the beginning of each new day, so choose to look at things from a different angle. This can promote creativity and help us move forward in more innovative ways.
  5. Try to make positive presuppositions – assume intentions are good. When we approach situations from the positive, we create a healthier learning environment for everyone and ultimately a safer one too.

So why not try approaching each day like a blank sheet ready to become the next masterpiece because that day may just be today? This too is part of the excitement of education – the hope it brings to every one of us.


Helen Wallace | Teacher of English, Director of Professional Learning

Tintern Grammar