Only two weeks away

As I reflect back upon the 2011-2012 school year, it is difficult for me to believe the end of the school year is only two weeks away.  It does not seem as though we have already gone through 38 weeks of school!

I know many of the students are counting down the days until their summer vacation arrives however, as a classroom teacher, I get a little down around this time of year.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my summer vacation just as much as the students, but I also miss the kids and wonder how they are all doing at their homes.  I sometimes come out to St. Joseph’s campus during the summer and think to myself,

“Wow, it sure is boring here without all the students running around and chatting.”

Eighth-grade graduation is upon us. Some of our students will be attending our high school program, while other students have made alternative plans for their future.  It is a time of excitement and pride, but also anxiety for both staff and students.  As staff, we have known some of these students since they were in first grade.  We have developed relationships, shared stories, shared laughter, had disagreements over rules or assignments, and sometimes even listened through our students’ tears.

Regardless of what our students have gone through in their lives, they can look back on their time at St. Joseph’s and realize they have grown, whether it be physically, emotionally, or simply that they are graduating from eighth grade.  They have had many accomplishments; they have formed many bonds, both with adults and their classmates that will continue no matter where they choose to go in their lives.  They should be proud of themselves, for they have made it.  It may have been difficult, but they have fulfilled the requirements for their first eight years of schooling.

On May 25, there will be a chapel full of people watching as each student is handed their diploma and shares their favorite memories of being a student at St. Joseph’s.  As I look forward to that day, I can’t help but smile.  For I, too, have a feeling of accomplishment.  I was given the wonderful opportunity of being a part of these students’ lives and I have helped them grow.  I can only hope I’ve done my best because more than anything these children deserve the absolute best, as they are our future.  The smiles on the graduates faces as they receive their diplomas is my motivation to continue on with my work here at St. Joseph’s, as I can see by both the piece of paper in their hands and the twinkles in their eyes that I have made a difference.

This difference would not be possible without the donations from our many generous benefactors.  I want to take the time to thank you for your generosity and kindness over the 2011-2012 school year.  Without you, none of this would be possible.


Matter, adaptations and model volcanoes

As we enter the 4th quarter of the 2011-2012 school year, I reflect upon the objectives we have covered in my 6th-8th grade Science classes.  My students have done an outstanding job in the classroom and the Science lab; however we still have many more topics to cover in our last nine weeks.  There will be many more activities completed this quarter to conclude the school year.

My 6th graders will wrap-up their units on matter and energy and move into motion.  This should be a great unit involving lots of fun activities.  I am in need of stop watches for many of the lab activities as the students will be studying their own motion.  Hopefully, the weather cooperates and we can do most of these assignments outdoors.

The 7th grade continues with their exploration of Life Science, delving into natural selection and adaptations.  These lessons contain some exciting group work.  In one of the labs we will be demonstrating the importance of the opposable thumb by having the students tape their thumbs to their index fingers and attempting to perform daily tasks such as cutting a circle and writing their name.  The students will also be required to complete the tasks with their thumbs so we can have a good comparison of differences.  I will try to remember to take some pictures and post them on my next blog.

Eighth graders have started to look forward to their 8th grade graduation ceremony.  There are many great activities and opportunities during these last few weeks of school, not to mention we must continue our journey in the classroom.  The 8th graders continue on with their study of Earth Science, delving into volcanoes and earthquakes.  They are already looking forward to creating their own model volcanoes.  It should be fun and messy, but more importantly interesting and informative.

Thanks once again for all you do as donors to St. Joseph’s Indian School.  Your generosity is so very important to maintain the day to day status quo of this wonderful educational and residential facility. You are greatly appreciated.

Thank you – Sarah