Going in to week 5 and I can't find the words to describe to you - we are a class reformed.
My kids wear their uniforms. Everyday.
They do their homework. All of them. All of it. And if they don't, they write me a note that says, 'this is too hard', and they stay in during lunch and I help them finish it.
They're invested in the class points competition (although we still haven't won....they're reformed, but not perfect, and we had a bad week a couple of weeks ago).
But even more so they're invested in their learning. They want to know what objectives they've mastered (they have self tracking sheets for math where they get a sticker each time they demonstrate mastery of an objective on a test or quiz). They want to be tested in reading to see if they've moved up a level.
I sense in them a hunger to do well - to learn - to be something, and while I always knew it was there, last year I felt like I believed in it much more than they did.
But they're different now. A year has changed them. A year has changed me. And the best part is that we experienced it all together, and now we get to come back and take the best of last year and magnify it, leaving the worst behind.
I still think about the ones that left everyday. I worry about them and wonder if they're really in a better environment or if it's just different. My principal says all the time, "Sacrifice 1 for 12," meaning that I can't worry about the 1 we pushed out because of his behavior. But isn't that was special ed is? My 12 were once another teacher's 1.
But still....everyday we succeed because he's now gone.
Hopefully somewhere he's part of another teacher's 12.