Alongside the excitement of scampering off on holidays, I often feel a twinge of sadness at the end of the year as I bid farewell to my class.
Each class I’ve taught has its own personality and idiosyncrasies. Even though I’ve had a large number of kids come and go during the year, there were enough children there to maintain the culture of the class. In two months I will start from scratch building a new class culture with a new group of kids and their families.
It’s a tradition to start the new school year with a new teacher, yet does this tradition align with our beliefs about learning? We spend a lot of time in schools talking about the importance of strong relationships between kids, teachers and families – yet we purposefully keep the time to develop and maintain those relationships short.
What if instead of moving kids on the teachers moved with the kids?
- Relationships would strengthen – a big factor particularly in international schools where change is a big constant.
- Teachers would have to develop their teaching to fit more around the needs of the child rather than kids making the move into ‘year 4’
- It would remove the anxiety of starting a school year for kids and teachers wondering ‘Who the teacher will be? Will they like me?’
In some cases children don’t get along with their teacher and the end of the year can’t come soon enough.Looking back on my own experience with looping there was a child I had a horror first year with and who I didn’t think I could teach for another year. Yet our second year actually was so much better.
Not all stories have a happy ending.
And if the relationship has broken down, make the move (though an argument could be made that if the relationship has broken down to the point the end of the year is far too late).
Is the tradition of moving kids on something that no longer aligns with our beliefs about learning: