Back to School Again

by Saralyn Richard

School starts again in the next few days or weeks, and, even though I’m no longer under contract to return to classrooms, the back-to-school spirit never leaves me. The mere words send a shiver of excitement down my spine, as I’m reminded of fresh starts, new people to meet, and new challenges to conquer. Nothing is more rejuvenating than meeting a classroom full of youngsters for the first time. The past, with all its problems and failings, disappears, and the future, with all its alluring potential, beckons.

When I think about my time in education, I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the chance to work with students, parents, other teachers, support personnel, and other administrators—all of whom have enriched my life.

Part of the reason I wrote A MURDER OF PRINCIPAL was to shine a light on the sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious experiences of working in an urban high school. When the book was published last year, many speculated about which of my schools was the model for Lincoln High School. Because of a long and varied career, I worked in nine schools as a teacher and administrator, and more than thirty schools as a consultant. If you worked with me in any of those settings, and read the book, wondering if you are one of the characters, I’ll tell you first:

A MURDER OF PRINCIPAL is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to any person is pure coincidence.

But then I’ll tell you:

If anything in the book resonates with you as real and relatable, yes, it resonates that way with me, too. Schools are microcosms of society, and to a degree all schools struggle with the same issues and revel in the same victories. The experiences I’ve written about are universal, and therefore familiar. So, if there’s a character you want to identify with—a student, perhaps, or an educator—please do. I’ll meet you behind the flagpole!

Saralyn Richard

Saralyn Richard’s award-winning humor- and romance-tinged mysteries and children’s book pull back the curtain on people in settings as diverse as elite country manor houses and disadvantaged urban high schools. Saralyn’s most recent release is Bad Blood Sisters. An active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing and literature, and continues to write mysteries. Her favorite thing about being an author is interacting with readers like you. Visit Saralyn here, on her Amazon page here, or on Facebook here.