The school year is winding down which makes for all kinds of excitement, good and bad.
Finally, it seems the kids are in their groove: they all know what is expected, how to make it through the day, and they manage to follow that routine fairly unwavering, almost like cattle headed to the feed trough. The ones who don't like me and my classes have decided to just keep plodding their way through, headed for that victory lap, hoping against all hopes I don't get moved to 8th grade along with them. The ones who do like me and my classes start begging me to teach them again the next year, or even more amusing, ask can't they please be held back in 7th grade to do it all over again.
But personalities aside, we've found our comfort zones with each other, reaching an understanding and a middle ground.
7th grade camp is just around the corner and the excitement is building. Tomorrow will be our official meeting where paperwork is passed out, and the long anticipated "What to bring to camp" list is finally in their hands. Every day, every hour, the questions about camp are endless. The ones going want details. The ones not going want to pout, beg, and plead their case one more time. The ones going want to know who will be in the cabin, what classes they will take, what is the food like, and are you really going to search our bags. The ones not going want to posture and say they didn't want to go anyway, even as they longingly soak up every tidbit of information. It is a rite of passage for both groups. For many, it the first time away from home, away from parents, and on their own. For some of those left behind, it is a first wake up call that their behaviors do have consequences, sometimes, long after the offenses occurred. But for everyone, it is the marking of the end of the middle of middle school.
And as the student population looks longingly at June 9, so does the staff. With more and more cuts and consolidations, the changes on the front for next year are being pondered. Some teachers embrace their new assignments with enthusiasm and acceptance. Others pout and complain. Some take their arguments up with adminstration, pleading their case for what they view as the best placement or schedule. Others monopolize the lounge conversations with their complaints, or corner anyone and everyone to whine about the situation. But for me... what I do next fall doesn't matter as long as I get to stay in the middle school :)
My own schedule for the upcoming year looks much like this one, thankfully. The addition of 1more section of social studies won't change much in my day. The addition of one section of Algebra 1, however, will make for another prep, one I haven't taught before. It will be an adventure for me and the kids. I look forward to the challenge, and look forward to having that upper group of kids again.
My philosophy on the schedule is to embrace the changes, assume those in control know more about the big picture than I do, and forge forward with all my might, for better or worse.
So as the year winds down, the changes roll on. New kids will walk in the door in the fall. New routines will be created. Some I will like. Some I won't. Some will like me. Some won't. But come next May at this time, things will look much as they do now....