Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

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Looping
Megan '99 Flannery

At the end of last school year, I was given the opportunity to do something we don’t see often at Crane… I was able to matriculate with my class, as I made the transition from teaching kindergarten for nine years to taking on a new role as a first-grade co-teacher. While many aspects of my job at Crane are different this year, I love the consistency that looping with the same class has provided--this class is the constant in the whirlwind of change that has become my life since September.

At the end of last school year, I was given the opportunity to do something we don’t see often at Crane… I was able to matriculate with my class, as I made the transition from teaching kindergarten for nine years to taking on a new role as a first-grade co-teacher. While many aspects of my job at Crane are different this year, I love the consistency that looping with the same class has provided--this class is the constant in the whirlwind of change that has become my life since September. I returned to work not only as a new mother of two, but also to a brand new curriculum and teaching partner. For someone who is wary of change, I was able to hit the ground running in first grade because I had a class full of familiar faces, learning styles I had already figured out, and fully established classroom routines.  
 
Looping (when a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade-level) is a phenomenon in the teaching profession that has a long history, but is gaining popularity. As with any movement, there are pros and cons affiliated with classroom looping. But in my experience, I found the start of the school year to be very smooth. Since I was familiar with each student’s academic level, we were able to dive deeper and more quickly into our curriculum in September. Collaborating with Courtney Fleming has been made easier by the fact that I know exactly what the class was exposed to in kindergarten and have a strong grasp on their prior knowledge, while she knows where they need to be by the end of the year and the first grade skills that need to be covered. It has been a semester of learning and discovery for both of us, but it has also been a natural progression. My teaching has benefitted from this refreshing change and the new challenges we tackle as a developing teaching team, yet it has been comfortable from the start.
 
While I will not be continuing to loop with my classes at Crane, it certainly has helped with my transition to first grade and given me a wonderful connection with this class of students and their families!
 
Megan Flannery
First Grade Co-Teacher

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