To loop or not to loop...that is the question...

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by sandimreyes, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2005

    I've discussed this with everyone I know, so now I'm reaching out for additional opinions to confuse me even more!

    We were notified recently by our principal that the pre-K teacher (who is Nat'l Bd. Cert., has quite a bit of seniority, and is a fantastic teacher) wants to move up and teach K next year. There is not an opening in K, so in order for him to grant her request (which he is definitely going to do), one of us will have to teach another grade next year. In an effort to make things smooth, he has offered to let someone loop with her class and has promised that an additional K class will be created the following year for that person to return to K. I have the most incredible class this year that anyone could ever want. I would LOVE to have them for another year, but...it means making a lot of changes.

    First of all, I am very very close to the other K teachers. Second, I have worked together with them, enriching the K curriculum to the strong program it is now. Now, I'll have to step into a whole new curriculum and I'm not sure how much room there is for additional input. Third, it'll be A LOT of work learning a new curriculum for just one year. Lastly, I wonder if I will have the foresight to take the kids as far as they are capable of going, since I'm not used to dealing with students on that level.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Apr 30, 2005

    That is a tough decision and I can see you have already given it quite a lot of thought. I guess I would have to ask: Are you ready for a change? Or are you comfortable where you are? That is what I usually ask myself when having to make a choice such as this. My gut usually knows what I want. Also, if you were not to loop with your class, what would that mean to you? Would you be at risk of being placed in another grade level to accommodate the PreK teacher moving up? If you are going to be forced out, then I say go with your class. If you have the option to stay, listen to your heart and go with your first instinct.
     
  4. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2005

    Someone will have to move. We are assuming that if no one volunteers, he will move the person with the least seniority, which is not me. My gut tells me to stay in Kindergarten. But, when I work with these incredible students, I think, "Wow! I'd be nuts to give up the opportunity to continue with them."

    I am not really looking for a change. I really really like teaching Kindergarten. It is like NO other grade. If my class wasn't so unbelievable, I wouldn't even be considering this.
     
  5. aussiejen

    aussiejen Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2005

    I was in your situation 2 years ago.

    I was working with a fantastic group of teachers who were also wonderful friends. We had an amazing Kindergarten program running. Enrolments were up - we even had an extra Kindy class made. I loved working with Kindy and I had been on the grade for 4 years.

    Two teachers came back from maternity leave! They were also my friends and also wanted Kindy!

    I decided to make the move to Year 1 only because I had a fantastic class and I was promised I could keep them as a group in Year 1.

    I had all the same worries as you. I would be working with a new group of teachers, the Year 1 program was nowhere near as good as Kindy and I wasn't sure how they would react to change. (I'm afraid I am a bit of a control freak). Plus I had to move classroom - I know its good for you but I hate doing it!

    Well I LOVED it. I stayed on Year 1 (this is my second year) and even without my dream class this year it is still fun. The Year 1 teachers were up for a change and now the Year 1 program is running very similarly to the Kindy one - harder of course!

    I absolutely LOVED having that class a second year the changes from the beginning of Kindy to the end of Year 1 were ????? I can't even think of a word to describe them. I cried when they went to year 2 ( I had serious thoughts about teaching Year 2! - but that was just crazy I would hate to leave K/1).

    The bonding between the class and myself was wonderful. You will have no worries teaching the kids at their new level - they showed me where they wanted to go and I just let them go there. I know that everyone has different experiences - but I just wanted to tell you (in a very long winded way) that my experience was excellent!!! and I wouldn't change it if I had to do it again.

    Having said that - I will stay on Year 1 for one more year - then I am looking forward to going back to Kindy.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  6. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    May 1, 2005

    Thanks so much for your input. You scenario is exactly how I am hoping the looping will be, if I decide to do it. After reading your post, I definitely am leaning toward the "looping" side. But, in a couple of hours, I will have talked myself out of it again...
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    May 1, 2005

    I personally think that change is good for people, and it sounds like you have a great support system with your wonderful class, and I assume the parents behind you. After time in first you will probably have new insights that will make your K program even stronger.
    I would love to loop, and with the testing set-up in my state a 3-4 loop makes a lot of sense, but my principal is a little set in his ways, so I don't see it happening.
    Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
  8. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 7, 2005

    Three years ago I was told that I would be moved to third grade after teaching second for 10 years. I was quite upset with this change. I was very close to the other two second grade teachers and we shared everything. That year I had an amazing class. Great students and very supportive parents. I asked the superintendent if I could loop with my class. I had never done anything like this before nor had I researched it. I just felt that with the change it would be so much easier to adjust to the new grade by having students I already knew and what their abilities were. He accepted my idea. My one requirement was that I would be able to ask each parent if they wished for their child to continue with me. The response was overwhelming. Out of 20 students I had 19 come with me. The year was outstanding! The first day of third grade they knew exactly what to do. It was if we never had a summer break. The two other third grade teacher helped so much in my change. They shared so many things. The same publishers of textbooks were used in both grades so it was not that difficult to follow the curriculum. I had a fantastic year. At the end of it many parents asked that I take their students to fourth grade but I strongly felt it was time that they had a new teacher. The experience was wonderful. I stayed with third grade this year but have a feeling I will be returning to second in the fall due to two retirements. I do feel, though, that you should ask if any parents want a change. It will make life a lot easier for you if you decide to loop. Good Luck!
     
  9. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    May 7, 2005

    I have told my principal that I would like to loop. After reviewing the numbers for next year, he realized that he really doesn't have a spot for an additional first grade teacher. He is going to see if there is a first grade teacher who would like to go to 2nd to make a spot for me and allow me to loop. We will definitely ask the parents if they want to do it. I have a fantastic set of parents and feel that most, if not all, will want to do it, but if not, then they need to be able to "opt out". I am really excited about the idea now and I really hope that I will be allowed to do it! I'll keep ya all posted!
     
  10. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    May 7, 2005

    Congrats on making your decision. I know it was a hard one. But you must feel a sense of relief now that your decision has been made. I hope your principal will allow you to do it. Let us know.
     
  11. balletmom

    balletmom New Member

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    May 7, 2005

    looping

    I have looped for three years with my class. I started with them in Kindergarten as I had been in K for a few years and thought this was the grade for me. However, I had the chance last year to loop with them to first grade and it was okay. I was definitely nervous at first b/c of a different grade level curriculum, but having the same students made the transition easier for me and them. Then I looped this school year to second with them and Wow!! I LOVE second grade. I will be staying in second grade and they will have a new teacher in 3rd, but I would not give up that experience for nothing in the world. I also am afraid of change. I was a perfectionist and didn't like to be off schedule, however these past couple of years have mellowed me somewhat and again, I enjoyed being with my same group of students for three years and to get to watch them grow into more mature students and seeing their skills build throughout the past three years have been quite an experience!! I would do it again in a heart beat. HOpe this helps.
     
  12. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    May 15, 2005

    Well...I guess all my soul-searching was for naught. My principal has decided to allow an extra Kindergarten next year and keep numbers low, so NONE of us has to move out of Kindergarten.

    Thanks for all your advice. It was good to broaden my horizons so that I will be prepared if the situation arises again in the future.

    I had prayed a lot and told God that it was in his hands and I'd follow his plan. Obviously, Kindergarten is where I should be!
     
  13. Kitty

    Kitty Rookie

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    May 16, 2005

    Sandy,

    don´t give it up if it is what your heart tells you is right for you!
    "Follow your personal legend!"
     
  14. LadyJet02

    LadyJet02 Rookie

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    May 17, 2005

    I have "looped" with several classes and found there to be distinct advantages. Here are a few:

    1. You know the majority of students, are familiar with their family/home environment, know the parents, know their learning styles, etc. To be honest, I felt like I gained an extra month by not having to start from square one with my class.

    2. Your students know you, which can be a distinct advantage if you are on good terms with your class. I found I could quickly dispense with the beginning of the school year adjustment to routine, expectations (what to do when you walk in the door, where to put your homework, etc.) and classroom management strategies. Again, it was like I gained an entire month.

    3. So much of classroom management and teaching is a period of trial error with each new class you get. When you loop with a class you already know what doesn't work, and hopefully know a few things that do work!

    4. I found any extra work with regards to curriculum were balanced out with the above factors.

    If you have a class you really love to work with, this would be the year to try it!

    Good Luck making your decision!

    June
     

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