As the year winds to an end I am finding myself more sentimental than usual. Finals are ready to be given. I have purchased this years copy of Oh The Places You'll Go. (I buy a copy every year, read it on the last day, and then have the kids sign it like a yearbook.) The peanuts are all excited about their summer plans (and I am too!).
And finally this last week I couldn't avoid the questions I have been getting for the past few weeks. The kids have noticed me leaving as soon as possible (unusual for me) and the fact that I have been packing up a few more things than I normally take home for the summer (and I usually take home almost everything). So I told the kids I had gotten a new job and wouldn't be returning in the fall. I work with kids that have people come in and out of their lives with disturbing frequency so I was glad that I had the opportunity to explain why I was leaving and how I hoped we would all keep in touch (what did people do before Facebook?). It wasn't as long-winded as Oprah's farewell, but it was closure. I am going to miss working with this group of kids and I will probably cry like a baby at graduation, but I am also very excited about the things to come.
In the fall I will be moving to the 'burbs working in a mixed-grade classroom at a 6-8 charter school. The schools focus is on entrepreneurialism and sustainable initiatives. The curriculum is a mixture of project based learning and experiential learning. It is also generative. I am a little type A so while I'm sure this won't be a cake-walk, I am very excited to say the least. We are going to do standard based grading, which I have experience with, but not on this grand scale. We are working this summer to rewrite standards and learning targets into a multi-grade format. The school is only in it's second year, and there is only one other teacher (who is also a new hire). We have a million ideas and I think our biggest problem will be that there are only so many hours in a day.
So, while I have recently taken a brief sabbatical from the online world, it has not been for lack of thoughts. I look forward to this new journey and can't wait to share it with all of you as well.