You know it’s Spring in sixth grade when…
You hear this variations of this every period of the day: “It’s so nice outside, Mrs. Smith. Don’t you think that it would be a good idea to go outside and actually enjoy it?!”
The back of your classroom is piled with sports equipment – every day begins with: how did the game go? and ends with: good luck!
Your kids are “in love”, “in like”, “in hate” – so much drama. Kids who were oblivious to one another are now joined at the hip. Someone is always smiling at someone else, looking at the clock so they can be with someone else during passing time, or rolling their eyes at someone. Drama!
Your kids are definitely “done with school”. They may placate you and pretend like they care, but…not really. Their minds are on summer, the beach, vacation, sleeping until noon. Yes, they drag their bodies in at 7:30, and will do so for the next six weeks, but don’t kid yourself. They are DONE!
They are seventh graders now. Everything from their body language to their sudden self consciousness tells you that the kooky, open, wide eyed sixth grader who walked through your doors in September is GONE! Here, instead, is a much more self assured version, a person who is not EVER impressed, a person who is cool and sophisticated and just so in control. Or thinks he/she is.
Suddenly, their thinking shifts. They are asking questions that stop you in your tracks – so many layers of thought, such soul in their process. They make you want to cry. My kids are asking questions that show they know their place in the world, the work they must do – to think, to ask, to dig deep, to wonder, to dream. My heart swells with pride.
You begin to realize that they notice: what you do, how you do it, what you say, how you say it. There are echoes of September conversations, November conversations,March conversations. They loop and swirl and swoop in their thoughts – connecting bits and pieces of all we’ve done and weaving something wonderful. The work is paying off.
You start to miss them. Already. You are slowly becoming a part of their past, a part they must move on from. Our room, so central to their sixth grade lives, will become part of their yesterdays. I can already see them, years from now, visiting and saying: I used to sit there, that was my favorite book, why did you move that bookcase…I miss this place.
Spring fever…I am happy and sad and proud and wistful.
My kiddos will be leaving soon…..