As the Learning Circle closes and the year
draws to an end, it is a time for reflecting on the past and looking forward
to the future.
Looking back, Michelle was pleased with her students'
work in their Learning Circle. Their project summary for the Circle
publication was mailed to the other classrooms in time for her to end
with the classic message:"It's in the mail." She admired the organizational
skills of the Coordinator, Mary Merica from California; their project
summary had arrived at the beginning of the last week and it looked
terrific! Her students did a great job of pulling everything together.
They had included three essays from Crestline. It also really helped
Michelle's editing crew to see an example of a printed summary while
they were still hard at work on their own project summary. Mary also
sent the title page, a work of circle art, and a great letter explaining
how things happened on the network. Michelle's students read the letter
to the whole school during their last assembly. They really listened.
The last week on the Learning Circle was very hectic for
everyone. Welda Hunt had said not to even look for her project until
the first week in January. She was in charge of the school holiday program
and it sounded wonderful. She was such a creative teacher that Michelle
really enjoyed getting to know her. Michelle wondered how it had gone.
Eric also said he would have his project in the mail before Christmas,
but if not, it would be his first New Year Resolution. The Circle closed
but Michelle hoped the friendships would continue.
During the next week Michelle stopped by school several times to check
the mail. Two more project sections arrived. She was surprised to find
that she was watching the mailbox with so much interest. She recalled
how she used to laugh at the way her retired dad met the mailman each
day. She knew he would chuckle at her now! Michelle glanced to the table
where all the Christmas cards were displayed. There was a picture of
Welda Hunt and her husband and three kids. What a friendly set of messages
Welda had sent in the closing week of the circle! It meant so much to
Michelle's students to read those messages. Maybe she should bring the
card into school and show it to her students. She knew that some of
her students would be bringing in the letters they received from their
Looking forward, Michelle thought about what she would
do when the students finished assembling their Circle publication. She
wondered if her students would like to make a formal presentation to
the curriculum council next week. They were meeting at Crestline to
discuss the state curriculum objectives. It would be a wonderful experience
for her students to describe their work to the council and it would
be good for the council to see what happened in this new environment
In just over a month, they would begin again with a new
Learning Circle. Again she and her students would have a way to reach
out to the mainland and beyond. Her students really enjoyed answering
all of the questions about Hawaii. What a reaction they caused when
they mentioned that they usually come to school barefoot! And with such
interest they followed the stories about Susan Butcher as she prepared
for the Iditarod, the famous dog sled race across Alaska.
Who, she wondered, would they meet this time? What places would they
learn about? What new connections await them?