Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Photo credit Delicious Monster on Flickr Creative Commons.

The Baltimore Sun published an article today about looping, that ridiculously underused and highly successful strategy in which a teacher stays with the same students for more than one year. The article highlights just a few of the advantages of looping, and someday I'll write more about my own observations.

But today, I write about one of the difficulties of looping. You see, unlike a circle or a super-cool infinity sign, a loop eventually ends. Like a roller coaster, it has it's highs and lows, and sometimes your hair stands on end, but eventually everyone gets out and goes onto the next ride.

My students are entering 8th grade this year. In 180 school days, they'll be entering high school. They look more like adults and think more like rational human beings. The little mug shots I took in 6th grade to try to learn their names aren't even useful anymore, because they've changed so much. They've finally learned my name and no longer tap my back and call me "teacher" any more (not that I miss that!).

Have I taught them enough? Will they make it in high school? Will they get a spot in the ever-shrinking freshman class? Will they get the scholarships they need? Will they be good enough people to make it through life doing good instead of making dumb, harmful mistakes?

Will I ever forget them?

Photo credit Steve_C on Flickr Creative Commons.

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