For the past week, I have proctored (PARCC) and led a 5th grade classroom, not my typical 4th grade class. The time has given me a chance to reconnect with my students from last year. I have walked away with a few observations.
First, it was interesting to see how they’ve changed in the past year. They’ve grown so much as not just as students, but people. Their interests have diversified and their ability to initiate higher order conversations has grown exponentially since working with them last year.
As the oldest grade in the school, the 5th graders have positively embraced the ‘we are the top of the pyramid’ attitude. As a whole they set a nice example for the younger kids in the school. They are considerate, thoughtful and respectful. However, it’s clear that they are ready to move onto middle school next year.
While they are not defiant, it’s clear that are tiring of elementary school rituals, routines, and games. They are still willing to participate, but it’s with a wink. It’s as if they are saying we are too old to participate in elementary school activities, but we’ll do it anyway. I imagine this is normal. Starting to distance oneself from their elementary school life as they prepare for the next step of school.
These 5th graders are great. I have enjoyed my few days with them. However, I’m very excited to get back to my 4th graders, who still love the routines of elementary school. At least they will for the next few months.