Am I sad the school year is ending? Nope!

And that’s the truth. I’m not sad. That’s because I’m looping with a phenomenal group of learners with my good friend Jennifer Nusbaum.

flickr photo by buistbunch shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

This year I’ve had the pleasure of learning with and learning from 111 5th graders, creating relationships, building trusts, developing common languages, and doing our best to “figure it all out.” And while we might be losing a few students to moves out of state or moves to other schools, I am super excited for the prospects of continuing to develop established relationships, while creating relationships with students I might have missed this year.

Through conversations with student and parent, I’ve discovered one of my students is obsessed with George Washington and fake nails. How cool is that? But what else don’t I know about this student? And more importantly, what else don’t I know about the rest of my students. I’ve just started to peel back the layers, and I hope this continues next year.

The way I see it is I have been given another 180 days to be the best teacher, guide, mentor to all my students.

However, I am sad to lose Andrea Gallegos as a teammate. She has been one of my many rocks this year, helping me see myself from different perspectives and helping me better understand my purpose. I am also sad to lose Albert Notley as a teammate. He has taught me how to be a better person, a more relaxed person. He’s taught me to not take life so seriously.

And while I’m losing two fantastic teammates, I get to continue to be with Jennifer. She’s one of those rare people who understands you, challenges you, questions you, laughs with you, laughs at you, expects more of you. The two of us will build the foundation for the 6th grade leaders at Knox Gifted Academy, along with Erik Earl (currently a Chandler Unified teacher at Galveston Elementary) and Stephanie Leggio (coming to Arizona from New Jersey).

Stay tuned as we develop a dynamic 6th grade experience with help from students, parents, and the Chandler community.

flickr photo by buistbunch shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Originally published at on May 28, 2017.