Today was the day when my old homeroom kids came back on a quick errand to pick up their IB Binders so that they could transfer them to their new seventh grade digs. It is always a bittersweet day for me: there I am working hard to build relationships with my fresh group of sixth graders when their predecessors come busting in the door, so familiar and with all that awkward newness out of the way. I am always so happy to see them and so sad to see them go.
This time there was a twist on that old story, though. All of last year's kids asked if they could stay for a bit, and of course I was delighted to have them. They sat in the extra chairs, chatted with their former classmates, and even joined in on the activity, helping the younger kids who had taken their places with their pinwheels for peace. For a few minutes my homeroom was a warm blend of the past and the present, and I couldn't have been happier.
When the bell rang, and my double-sized group of students set off into their days, I smiled when I heard a bunch of the sixth graders tell each other that they were coming back next year, too.