I got home today with a feeling of just sheer contentment. Sometimes I feel like the luckiest woman in the world and not just because of what I get to come home to, but what I get to leave my home for every day. When I saw my class list and then saw it grow, when I kept thinking through all of the things I wanted to do with these 27 students, when I thought about all the things I hoped they would accomplish, I just didn’t know if we could do it all.
As anyone who has taught bigger rooms with big personalities can attest to, it is a completely different challenge. Not only are you pushing the kids to try and to sometimes work through failure, but you are also dealing with sheer numbers. And with high numbers can come such a broad gamut of needs and wants that it sometimes just overwhelms you. Kids that range from needing a person to support them through most things to kids that are so ready to set off and soar, all they need is a push. You have students who want to try and students who are afraid to try. You have students that already find school pretty boring and students that still love learning. With 27 students it seems like you have them all, the whole gamut of personalities. and so I just didn’t know how we would work together and strive together.
But these kids. With their crazy ideas, their enthusiasm for my ideas, and their support of each other as they each try every day, is blowing me away. These kids with their stories, their dreams, and their hang ups, who share them with me every day, trusting me to get to know them, trusting me to push them in the right direction, these kids are proving me wrong.
I should not have doubted for one single moment that we could do all of our 5th grade challenges. I should not have doubted for a single moment that even though there were so many of us, we would still build a community. These kids with their loud voices, their big personalities, and their eagerness to just prove me wrong every single day, those kids are making this year one of those years I can’t wait to tell others about.
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” will be released this fall from PLPress. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.