Half Way There
You may be perplexed as to why I would entitle a January blog entry as "Half Way There". Half way to what? is what you are most likely wondering. The answer for your students or your children, is that they are just about half way to the next grade.
Now, I realize that if you do the actual math that this is not completely accurate, but with the end of the second grading period drawing near and the knowledge that Regents exams take up a good portion of the end of the year, I feel that "half way there" is called for.
Why is "half way there" important? As a teacher, you have the revelation that you have effectively used up 1/2 of the time you have with your students to not just cover, but master, X number of learning standards and objectives. This is also the point in the year that I would start planting the seed in my students' minds that "next year in [fill in the blank grade] this [work, behavior, attitude, etc.] will just not cut it. Just when their minds are just getting used to what it is like to be a third grader, I introduce the harsh reality that, gasp, they are now closer to being 4th graders than they are to that long lost land of 2nd grade.
For some (okay, just about all) students this concept of time coming and going is equal to a foreign and unknown language. Nonetheless, it is a lesson as important as the subject matter that they are immersed in learning. Life is about changing and evolving- it's about not becoming complacent in what you are learning or discovering- and it's about enjoying where you are with the knowledge that it will not last forever. As 12-year-old Siggy Marvin says in What About Bob "Do you know how fast time goes? I was six, like, yesterday."
So the moral of today's blog is as follows: teachers, keep plugging away. There is still time to learn the important stuff for this year and make a difference in the lives of the students that grace your classroom. Parents, enjoy who your children are today because they'll be a grade older before you know it. And for the students that you are both teaching and raising...make today memorable.