Today was my last day of school (FINALLY), and it was a great feeling to be able to tell my students, see you next year! I'm used to being an eighth grade teacher and sending my students off to high schools scattered across the five boroughs, to perhaps hear from them via email or Facebook (my teacher page) or not! That was always a time filled with mixed emotions. I'd be sad to see them go, but I also knew my role in their lives was short-term, and I was happy to see them graduate. For some, I was filled with worry about the choices they might make in high school.
This year was different: I have the two-year advantage. I will teach the same group of students again next year as their eighth grade teacher. I got to have have conversations with students today about eighth grade and be excited about the significant role I will play in their lives! I got to tell parents what the curricular focus will be and how the work will develop in the second year. Best of all, I did not have to say those sad or worrisome good byes. Our story is not over.
I created a survey for students on google about the class this year and their thoughts for next year. Every year I do this (on paper though--Google survey is new for me), but this time I can actually use the feedback on the very students who gave it to me. I've been working with a group of students, helping them write their own novels. I was able to send them off to write over the summer, and look forward to seeing that work in September.
I've written before about how much I like looping and all the advantages I find in the practice. The 7th to 8th grade loop is a really good one, developmentally, in my mind. It's been four years since I've done it, though. Hooray for summer, and hooray for the 2 year advantage!
[image credit: denver.org]