A Thanksgiving Homecoming
Last Tuesday, during the elementary classroom international feasts, we had a number of former students/graduates return “home”. The “returnees” included the entire graduating class of 2018 as well as middle and high school students currently enrolled in area public, charter, and private schools.
During their visit, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with some of the 2017 & 18 grads about life after TMA. Here are some of the sound bites from our 30-minute conversation:
- There was consensus that they were “overly prepared” for school beyond TMA. Specific examples shared included:
- Math: An 8th grader remarked that all math last year was a review. The 2018 grads are enrolled in 7th or 8th grade pre-AP math.
- Creative Writing: All agreed they were “well prepared”.
- Socially: “Socializing (at their new schools) is not a problem” as a result of Upper Elementary experiences including simulations, Young Authors’ Day, many opportunities to speak in front of people, and trips to Heifer Ranch in Arkansas & Nature’s Classroom Institute (NCI) in south Texas.
- What they now appreciate and miss:
- The Wildscape
- Freedom in the classroom
- Conflict Resolution classes (while they don’t use “I” phrases now, they do use anger management strategies for themselves and others).
Over the years, our graduates, their stories, and their on-going connection to TMA are wonderful sources of encouragement to me. I do tell them that TMA is their “forever” home and they have a standing invitation to return and share their challenges as well as their accomplishments. They just smile as if to say, “thank you, but we really don’t need an invitation…this is home.”