Saturday, May 17, 2014
We have arrived at the end of the year! Final assessments are complete. We just have four very fun filled days left before we say goodbye. This week is going to fly by, but I'm going to try my best to enjoy every moment. We are going to make memories watching a movie, going to a baseball game, and of course the traditional last day of school Field Day! Looking back, I am amazed at the strong learning community we created. The bonds between my students and I and between students is incredible. They have all come such a long way since the first week of school.
The worst part about the end of the year is the reality that many of my students didn't meet the standards for passing to the next grade level. It's not because I'm ineffective or because they didn't put in the effort (believe me, we all did our very best), but the kids came to me a year or more behind and with some very challenging behaviors. As I was putting together their writing portfolios for our celebration of learning open house, I realized just how far each student has come. I sat in awe as I watched one portfolio show a students progress from scribbles to shapes to letters to words. It's incredible to see child development so clear on paper. Unfortunately, developing even a great amount is not enough if the child does not meet the benchmarks. It's discouraging to tell a parent, "We all tried. Our team failed. Your child has to repeat." I know we didn't fail. The child made a huge amount of progress and will soon be on track, but soon is not good enough because there is no time left in the school year.
Do you have any tips for having these conversations with students and parents?