Meeting all my students is always a great thing. I truly enjoy it every year. But there’s a part of me that knows deep down that if I had looped and stayed with my kids from last year for a back-to-back year of teaching the same kids for another academic turn, I would be spectacularly more efficient to start the school year.
I’d know names, proclivities, dispositions and so on. And they’d know me. We’d cut so much of the “learning curve” out — the one that took me many months to really get my hands around in order to feel really good about ALL of my kids. It actually seems as if it would be a keen move to have more teachers loop to ensure that that by week 2 of school, things are roaring at a high level and classes are well beyond the “tell me your name again” type of barriers that are inevitable every new school year.
Plus, there’d be fantastically greater accountability for summer reading and projects. (i.e. I assigned it last June, it’s due the first week of September, don’t pull any of that “My teacher never told me,” nonsense out the excuse bucket.)
On one hand, I like getting new kids. I like the new faces, I like the fresh energy and I like the new smiles. (Plus, I like the fact that I get to see the new smiles after having cracked some of the same jokes I’ve cracked in years prior — but hey, if the textbook companies can recycle short stories and lesson plans year after year, I can certainly plagiarize my own corny back-toschool comedy, right?)
Looping just seems like it would be so much more efficient. I mean it’s not like I didn’t end last year without wishing I could get to more things. And it’s not like the “data” about student performance wouldn’t be more meaningful considering I spent a year helping to generate it. The connections I made with parents, the kids learning my style, my tolerance for shenanigans, the way I expect their to be FUN as well as RIGOR in the classroom (cause the 2 are most definitely not mutually exclusive.)
I mean I spent a year with a bunch of students that, in a way, might best be considered groundwork, preparing them to be really successful this year.
They ar the seeds I planted for another teacher to harvest, I guess. But there’s a part of me that feels like I might be the best farmer for last year’s kids.
Yep, they may get sick of me — and I, them — but I do think I’d wring a heck of lot out of ’em. And I do think that looping would save a lot of teachers valuable time in the classroom.
Am I loopy for thinking looping is a good idea?