Endings Lead to New Beginnings

By Stephanie Rappe — As I look at my third graders now, I can see how much they’ve grown since the beginning of the year.

Not only have they grown taller, but many of them have a new found sense of maturity. Unfortunately some of this maturity has caused some drama to emerge among the girls in my class, but for the most part they still get along.  If you observe, you’ll see that the girls are starting to refer to each other as “new best friends” and “old best friends” and are giving each other labels.  They also seem to be separating into groups based on whether they are American Hmong and Traditional Hmong –which means that they’ve lived in Thailand and still follow the culture traditionally at home. The labels for the boys, on the other hand, seem to focus on how athletic and/or smart they are. I see cliques forming and some personalities becoming more apparent and obvious.

In the midst of all that personality development, it’s been strange see that most of the students don’t look forward to summer vacation.  Many claim that that their summers are “boring.”

The fact is, a good percentage of these students live in poverty and don’t have the opportunities to take part in many of the summer activities that we take for granted — things like visiting new place, taking a trip, going to the park, store, or pool are luxuries for many. I worry about a lot of the kids that tell me they are left alone and bored in the summer because I know their minds aren’t being stimulated and they aren’t being watched closely. I also worry about those kids who don’t practice their English at all during the summer because they are the ones who will have the most difficult time getting back in the routine once they get back to school in the fall.

I’ve been with this same class from the end of their 2nd grade year until now.  It’s difficult to believe that they are ready to move into the 4th grade.  So much has happened over the course of the last 17 months and I will never forget this first group of kids.  I think about them so often, and in many ways, they’re so much a part of my life that just about everything I do is for them.

We’ve done so much growing together.

It’s difficult to fathom that next fall I get a new group of kids and start all over again from square one.

1 Response to “Endings Lead to New Beginnings”


  1. 1 Long vue April 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    We miss you please come back to visit before the end of school year ….going 8th grade next year 😀 miss you

    Like


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