Friday, June 9, 2017

Week 32 and 33: The Final Countdown (weeks of 6/2 and 6/9/2017)

With that, my friends, it's time to bid a fond farewell to G-6. I can't believe that the year is already over!!! Here's what we've been up to:

The second to last week of school was jam-packed with poetry. We shared our haikus, acrostic poetry, couplets, and blackout poetry with each other. I am really impressed by the skill my students showed. Poetry is typically a tough unit for students because some don't want to write poetry, some don't understand it, and most are exhausted and done with the year. I can't blame them! However, everyone did a great job buckling down and letting their poetic voices speak. The haikus were very well written and focused on our love of nature. The couplets were about something we enjoy and my students clearly enjoy a lot of different things. The acrostic poetry was "tough" for most students; I, however, suspect it wasn't the concept that was tough but the actual work and thought process. No big deal, we got through it and everyone found their own poetic voice.

We ended the year by writing a poetry book that also gives advice to next year's seventh graders. Each period was responsible for their own version of the advice. Period 1 had to tell next year's students "How to Survive Mr. Laffin's Class". Period 2 tackled "The Myths versus Realities of Middle School". Period 3 gave tips for "The Road to Middle School Success". And Period 4, by far my most snarky and sarcastic class (no idea where they got that from haha), had the task of writing "How to Annoy Mr. Laffin (and Other Bad Advice)". Overall, the poems were insightful and funny. My students did a great job setting next year's kids up for success.

And that, unfortunately, brings us to the end of the year and the end of my blogs. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to teach your son or daughter this year. I took more chances and tried new things. I learned along the way, right alongside my students. I laughed with them. I got frustrated with them. I worked hard with them and slacked off a bit, too. Overall, it was a great year and I was, again, blessed with some amazing students. I am truly grateful to be working in such a positive and supportive community. Because of YOUR support, I was able to get my Donor's Choose project fully funded! Thank you for not only supporting that project but for supporting me and my classroom throughout the entire year. The teenage years aren't easy for anyone; I know our teamwork benefitted the students immensely.

This time of year is bittersweet; it has been since I was a student. While I LOVE being able to take a break and have a breath, it's also tough. I've watched these seventh graders grow from timid kids at WEB orientation to amazing young adults. Some times were tough and others were so easy. The break is nice, but I'm also a creature of habit. I get used to seeing the same kids in the same order five days a week; I like the structure. I like seeing my coworkers every day. I will genuinely miss each and every one of my students. I loved being able to teach them this year. If there's ever anything you, or they, need, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely, thank you for an amazing year,
Kevin Laffin