Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Movin' on Up (to the high school)

Today was the 8th Grade Moving Up Day Ceremony, which was like Graduation v.0.5. The students processed to Pomp & Circumstance, received prestigious awards at the building, district, and state level, and received framed diplomas as they crossed the stage. It was a nice way to wrap up our students' last year of elementary school (remember my district does PreK-8, 9-12 buildings). Next year, they'll be low men and women on the totem pole again as they all scatter to one of the district's 13 high schools (or in the case of one young man, a private school).

As I sat in our auditorium watching the proceedings, I was a little sad that I didn't know the 8th grade class better. Going through my two degrees, I always thought that I would end up working at the middle school or high school level. I spent my summers of graduate school working at an enrichment/leadership summer program for students from my district. But, after interning at an elementary level and seeing all the great academic and behavioral interventions that can be done with the little ones, that's what took my interest and heart the most.

My interaction with our 8th graders was pretty much only crisis and/or peer mediation, and I did very little of it. We had someone on our team that knew the middle school classes well, so she did a lot of intervention with them, as did our guidance counselor. I wish that I had known all the kids who walked up to get awards, especially the multiple winners and the student going to one of the most prestigious private schools in the city. That's a huge feat for anyone, let alone someone leaving our low performing building!

Congratulations to our Class of 2011... best wishes as you go out into the world!

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