We were warned. All last year we heard about the third graders and how they were a very rough group. One third grade teacher looked at my class list at the end of last year and talked for thirty minutes about all of the problems I would experience. I even had a phone call this summer about one student, warning me of how difficult he can be. I read each student’s placement cards, genuinely nervous. I was moving to a new grade level and now I was going to have an infamous group of students?!
What this year has taught me is that each year is a fresh start for our students, just like each year we grow as teachers. I thought this was going to be an incredibly difficult year with a horrible class. Instead, it has been my favorite year of my short three years of teaching.
That boy I received the phone call about? He makes me laugh daily. He has some issues, but he’s worked so hard this year and has come so far.
My class is not perfect, but I now feel like they received an undeserved bad reputation. This year, I learned that I should not judge a student by their experience in previous grades. They are growing up and they deserve to start the year without judgement. This is something I need to remember as I write placement cards at the end of the year. My “bad” class has turned out be an amazing group of kids that I truly love teaching everyday.