This morning I walked into our Spanish classrooms while our fifth graders were learning. In one classroom, they were preparing to sing a song in Spanish about the IB Learner Profile. The students were circled together as they discussed what each different term meant to them.

As I listened to these students who many have spent nearly six years learning at Joyner, I began to hear the voices of their teachers. Different students gave examples of different ideas that immediately reminded me of the voices I have heard in classrooms by teachers. One student suggests that being a risk-taker is having the mind set to dare to not just follow others but be willing to try something new. Another student remembered a story about being principled.

I don’t think our students realize the voices they now carry are those of the teachers at Joyner that have made a difference in their learning. Sitting in that room this morning, I felt a celebration of learning of these concepts. I also felt a celebration of the voices that have been heard and learned. What a great way to honor the teachers who have worked with each of our students to navigate their world using this profile! The stories of the learning came alive in the examples they used and expressed to each other in this simple conversation.

We are so proud of how our children grow. Meeting with fifth grade parents recently and talking with them in hallways about middle school, we begin to see the end of elementary school. We also see the continuing of the journey for their children, our children.

I remind our fifth graders of the time we still have. As I mentioned to another teacher who talked with me about fourth quarter, we still have a fourth of the year. And we must engage in every moment. We need every day to build each learner at Joyner! Teachers have stories to teach and students have places to grow!