Friday, April 23, 2010

Not so depressed as before

So I think I'm coming to terms with teaching sixth grade next year. There were a few reasons I wasn't so comfortable with this idea.

The first is that I just love the fourth grade curriculum. The science and math curriculum is rich with hands on activities that are doable by the students. The stories in the reader are engaging, culturally relevant and the kids love them. I've taught both fifth and sixth grade and did not find them to be similar.

Fourth graders, you know the actual students are just the best. They are still engaged in school for the most part. They find new concepts exciting and they love the practice. Fifth graders have started to see the routine in school and its harder to keep them engaged in school and not the drama among their peer group. And sixth graders. Ug. I don't even know where to begin with them. Check out the beginning of my blog because I try not to revisit that particular part of my teaching tends to bring on waves of panic.

As I was wrestling, fighting, cajoling, begging, helping the third graders to finish up the science fair group project, it came to me that these kids are actually going to be next year's fourth graders. (Well, except for those we are going to hold back.) Now, you might think this would have come to me much sooner. And perhaps it should have. But in years past, at the beginning of the year it's the third graders that I've the most problem with and fourth graders that I've loved. As the year comes to a close, the third graders start to become fourth graders and they become the most fun to work with and the fourth graders start to become fifth graders and I begin to become annoyed with their drama.

The other day I realized April was ending and I hadn't observed this particular change which I usually begin to see at the beginning of March. The third graders are still third graders, some are even still acting like second graders. The fourth graders are still fantastic. I'm grateful every time I get to send the third graders on and the fourth graders walk into my room.

So perhaps working with fifth and sixth graders next year will be a good thing. I'll have my fantastic fourth graders from this year and the sixth graders will be my fourth graders from the first half of last year and for the most part, I really enjoyed them.

I said as much to Sr. Callejo as the Science Fair was ending last night and he seemed excited about my change of heart. I know he loves the way I teach and likes the way I expect great things my students. He said, "That means you get to have my niece!" and he introduced me to Elma's mother, his sister.

So all and all, it's probably all sewn up and might even be for the best.

How's that for a positive note.

However, I'm definitely going to have to take home the sixth grade math curriculum and spend the summer with it.

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