Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saying Goodbye!

I can't believe that there are only two days of school left! This has been such a wonderful year. Last year, I left Kindergarten (after teaching it for eight years) to move to Grade 1. I wanted this move, I even asked for this move, but as I was packing up my classroom to move, I was worried that maybe I had made the wrong decision. I loved teaching Kindergarten, and for years, I told people that I couldn't imagine teaching anything else, but here I was doing just that. I'm so glad that I did! This has been an incredible year of teaching and learning, and I truly do LOVE Grade 1!

Since I team-taught SK last year, I basically taught all of the students that are now in my class. Saying "goodbye" to these students after two years is a very difficult thing to do, and while the excitement of the summer is definitely looming, so is the sadness of the end of the year. I want to dedicate this blog post to my amazing students that have taught me so much over the past two years.

Here are the top five lessons (in no particular order) that I have learned from you:

1) Don't be afraid to try something new! It's okay if it's hard the first time, for it won't be as hard in the future. My students learned lots of new concepts this year and tried lots of new tools, and despite any difficulties they may have had, they knew that what they were doing would be easier in time.

2) Never give up! I remember a few times that my lesson wasn't working according to plan, and my students chimed in with, "Don't worry, Miss Dunsiger! You can do it!".

3) Set expectations high, and students will meet everything that you expect of them and more! If I ever mentioned that an activity might be difficult, my class always replied with, "We're in Grade 1 now. We can do it!" And you know what? They always did!

4) Be genuine. Show you're having fun because you really are having fun! Six- and seven-year-olds are always genuine -- they always tell you what they're thinking and feeling -- and they can tell if you're not being genuine too! If they see you enjoying yourself, they will as well, and the learning will come through this enjoyment.

5) Don't be afraid to admit that you don't have all the answers! Let your students teach you something new, and let them teach each other new things too. I learned something new from my students every day, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thank you, Grade 1's, for an incredible two years of learning and laughter! I will miss you next year, but I wish you all the best in Grade 2!

Aviva, or as my students would say, Miss Dunsiger :)

2 comments:

linda704 said...

Thank you for sharing. Early on in my career I "looped" with a 3/4 class into 4/5. Because I had previously taught music and 2nd grade, there were some students in that group I had for 4 years. It was a powerful teaching experience. Those "kids" are now entering their 30s and they are still in my heart.

Aviva said...

Thanks for the comment, Linda! You're right that looping is definitely a "powerful teaching experience," and I think that I will remember these students for a very long time to come. Glad to know you had a similar wonderful experience!

Aviva