Alterations, Modifications, Transitions!

Did you know that teachers don’t teach the same grade every year? Also Chickering has 30 new students in grades 1 – 5? We were interested in how the teachers and the new kids have adapted to their changes; change is never easy.

Several teachers changed their teaching assignments this year. We talked to three teachers, Mrs. Bedell-Healy, Mrs. Gillis, and Mrs. Hart.

Image of classroom sign for Mrs. Bedell-Healy.Mrs. Bedell-Healy talked with us about her move from K to 3rd grade. We were curious about what she likes about 3rd grade. She told us she likes how the 3rd graders understand her jokes, enjoys math – multiplication and division, and is eager to learn about Massachusetts’ history. We also wondered about what she found challenging about 3rd grade. Coming from kindergarten to 3rd grade it took her a week to understand what students were capable of doing. Another challenging thing was learning a whole new curriculum, which is so different from kindergarten.

Mrs. Hart moved from 3rd grade to 4th grade. We wondered what she likes Image of the sign for Mrs. Hart Class roomabout 4th grade. She shared: the high ceiling gives the room an airy feel: the people on the second floor have made her feel welcome: and after six years of teaching 3rd grade, teaching 4th grade is a nice change. Finding her classroom was challenging the first few of weeks of school, she kept going to her old room. She is learning to collaborate with a new team and History and Social Studies now includes North America and with a focus on the 5 regions of the U.S.

Mrs. Gillis moved from Physical Education to the Image of Mrs. Gillis' Learning Center sign.4th grade Learning Center. We asked her what she likes about her move. Her large room allows her to have a lot of students and she has a wealth of materials in the room. She likes sharing the classroom with someone else. We asked her what she found challenging about transferring to the fourth grade Learning Center. Image of the Learning Center - table areaShe described to us that she likes her large room, but sometimes it feels too big. There are too many tables and they are the wrong size for the fourth grade students. Mrs. Gillis would like to add a rug so the students can move around as they learn; not all learning is done by sitting.

In 5th grade, we have six new students. We were curious to know what were the differences between their old school and Chickering. Katherine told us recess is shorter here. Her old school, in Wayland, Illinois, is smaller in population; and Chickering has more classrooms per grade level. Viktor appreciates the students at Chickering. At his old school, in Millis, Massachusetts, students argued and there were bullies. Jack shared that his old school, in Norfolk, Massachusetts, is old and lunch was unappetizing. School uniforms were a part of Benistas old school, in Danvers, Massachusetts. Having a school next to a zoo, must be very exciting, James’ school was located in the city of Chicago, Illinois, with grades K-12. Our last new student, Amelia, from Madison, Wisconsin, said her school was very small compared to Chickering with only 1 classroom per grade level.

We were wondering what they thought about Chickering School. Katherine likes to go to the library whenever she wants and she and Amelia enjoy having lots of equipment on the playground. Nice teachers who make learning very easy and exciting was expressed by Viktor. Jack and Benista both shared that the kids are nicer and they have made friends who have helped them in many different ways. Liking the teachers, having the same school colors, royal blue, white and black, and participating in band were ideas stated by James.

We asked the question: “What do you miss about your old school?” 30 minutes for recess was a big joy that Katherine misses. Viktor missed nothing about his old school. Jack and James miss their classrooms and their best friends. Uniforms made it easy so Benista did not have to think about what to wear each day and she misses her 3 best friends. Amelia also misses her friends and teachers and she had a hard time moving to  a new school because she has only been at one school.

Changes are never easy, especially if you’re changing to a new school or to a new curriculum. The new kids and Mrs. Bedell-Healy, Mrs.Hart, and Mrs. Gillis have certainly experienced a lot of changes this year. Without a doubt, it was gratifying to hear that the students at Chickering School were so helpful and kind to our new students.

Reported by George, Oliver, and Viktor