Last Thursday I boarded a bus packed with 43 ten and eleven year olds bound for Lac Rose. These youngsters were headed for fun. There would be no squelching their enthusiasm as they proudly sang songs from the Jungle Book. It didn’t matter one single bit that just a handful of students had actually performed the songs a week earlier in the grade school musical. No, every 5th grader on that bus seemed to know the words. They ALL sang, “ ... you hoo hoo…. I wanna be like you hoo hoo.. I wanna walk like you… talk like you…. “ Well you know the rest. I couldn’t help myself; I sang too! I guess what impressed me most about this 5th grade class is how they have come together as a group; they function like a family. These kids truly care for one another; they want to see each other do well. They want to have fun together and to celebrate one another’s strengths.
I marveled at their sense of wonder and the thoughtful questions they asked their guides. They were polite and respectful when they visited with the villagers. The students were there to learn about salt-mining and the environmental changes impacting the lake community. But they learned so much more. For many, this was a first trip away from home and that in and of itself presented some challenges. But our students were courageous and they worked through the challenges.
It filled my heart with joy to hear their shrieks of laughter as they ran into the ocean and then raced away from the waves chasing them back up the beach, so sweet, so innocent. And the teachers and I giggled when we overheard their plans for a midnight rendezvous… so much planning and running from one cabin to the next. But alas such a rendezvous would not take place; the kids were just too tuckered out. As you can imagine, the ride home was much quieter than the ride to the Lake.
I didn’t get to spend much time with the 5th graders this year so I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend two special days with such a delightful group of students and teachers. I saw them as dancers and singers and lovers of life. I saw them as learners, as friends, and as family. I saw them at their best and I am thoroughly convinced that the strong partnerships the parents and teachers built this year resulted in a well connected group of learners.
To the Parents of this 5th Grade Class, well done; you have a very special group of youngsters. As they transition to middle school I do hope you will continue to stay active in the school and to partner with the teachers. Sure, the kids may pretend like they don’t want you around but that’s just for show. The truth is; they do want you around and you need to be ever present in their lives reminding them that you are there loving them and providing safe boundaries so that they may continue on this path of success.
Ms. Kelly, Returning Elementary Principal