Today was a magical day for me. Our fifth graders had the opportunity to be visited by the talented artists from East Millbrook Magnet Middle School. Our IB pathway school presented the learner profile through acting, singing, strings, band and visual arts. Our students participated in activities together with these middle school students to take a hands on approach to what it is to be an IB learner.

The performances were beautiful. I was so impressed with the respect and focus that those middle school students gave to their peers while either waiting to perform or after they were completed. Scattered through these faces were former Joyner students. It might be a little more difficult to recognize them as they have grown and matured. But in all of these faces, I saw where our students will be going.

Our fifth graders were thrilled to have the opportunity to talk and engage with the middle schoolers. Their questions were real and thoughtful. I could hear in their tone and words the curiosity of what it will be like when they too join the middle school world. I am so proud of how well they reacted and responded to the talent that was shared with them.

At one point, I was standing by the back door with one of the staff from East Millbrook. We turned around to notice several first grade students peering in from outside. It was their recess and their curiosity got the better of them. Standing so sweetly peering in, I saw the smile on the staff member’s face. Again I have that feeling of being so glad to work in an elementary school where I see our children’s lives grow so many years. It is our joy and journey to travel with students from those early moments in learning as five-year olds through to their steps away from us after fifth grade.

Right before this performance I met with third grade parents to discuss the Read to Achieve requirements. Here are the parents of our students in the middle of their elementary career. There are concerns for the expectations. There are questions about their growth. I listen to the concerns and understand the worries. But I also know that our staff takes seriously this journey we are on with our students. We see the end result that we all want for our students. And we are committed to that work.

Someday all of our students will grow up and move on. I look forward to seeing them grow on into middle school and beyond. I want to welcome them back to perform and show to their JYJ family how much they are making a difference as these East Millbrook students did today.

And while they are in our care, we will continue to nurture them to grow!