Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

An End of an Era

Last week our school year ended and I said good-bye to my class, with tears expressing the sadness I felt because the Year 8 part of the class would be moving on to secondary school.  Now of course that is an event to celebrate as well.  So it was with mixed feelings that I said good-bye.  What an awesome set of students.

The Year 8 students, most of them, had been with me as Year 5's when we started out on our class blogging journey.  Among them were a group of boys who went against the general trend. They loved to read, they were enthusiastic about learning.  They were complemented by a wonderful set of girls.  I couldn't believe my good fortune back in 2009 and from then to now, it's been a joy to teach and learn along with them.

In 2010 I moved up with them and continued to do so. We were joined by a year below them, who also happened to be keen learners as well.  They all got on very well together and by 2012 the present Yr 7's were sad to see them go.

As 2012 moved forward the Year 8's continued to grow and become even more. Some of them began to hone their leadership skills, they happily collaborated with each other on many projects.  They accepted whatever was going on, and I never heard a moan about anything.  They just got on and did it.  If someone did have a bone to pick, they did so individually and respectfully with me. Perhaps pointing out where they thought there was a lack of fairness, or as one student pointed out - you do have your favourites!  We were able to talk it through and come to an acceptable solution.

As the year came to a close there was a lack of Year 8 hijinks in the playground from both classes of Year 8's. Usually at that time of the year they get a little big for their boots!  Not so this year, their energy was channelled into positive activities. What a blessing they have been.

In the classroom I felt so relaxed with them, I never had to be worried about 'managing' them. The managed themselves. The Yr 8's along with the Year 6's and 7's mainly got along well together. Once however, I noticed a Year 6 mucking about and throwing a bit of a sulk.  The other boys at the table just picked up their work and split to various parts of the room to get completed what had been assigned.

Almost the whole class were eager to learn, completed work well and needed very little hassling.  They were kind, generous, courteous and fun loving. While they were quite happy to cooperate with each other they were also competitive, especially when out playing sport. As the year ended, and the weather was beautiful, we would go out for a game of rounders.  Everyone got involved, there were no half-hearted participants. The skills of throwing, catching, fielding were a pleasure to watch.

I could turn to these students, throw some challenge at them and they could pick it up and run with it.  Some of them were highly skilled with ICT and we learned so much off each other.  More and more I could leave it to them to upskill each other and I could get on with other things.

I loved teaching my class during 2012, and I thank especially the wonderful Year 8 section of it.  I will miss them, although I do know it is time for them to take the next step in their journey in life.

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