Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The End of One Dream, the Start of Another...

 "Trust in what you love, continue to do it, 
and it will take you where you need to go."
- Natalie Goldberg 
My dream job was always to become a fourth-grade teacher and for the past nine years I have been one. The amazing thing about teaching is that you end up learning just as much about yourself and life as the students you teach. If we are to expect of ourselves what we expect of our students, at some point, we should reflect on all we've learned and continue to grow. To say I'm incredibly grateful to the students, families, and staff at Barrie is an understatement. I'm not sure words can frame how I feel about a place that has felt more like home than any of the 10 places I have lived in since moving out of my parents' house after high school graduation.

If you've spent any time with me in person or on this blog, you are aware that my experience getting coached in the Comprehensive Literacy Model has completely transformed me. I went from dreading teaching reading and writing to becoming obsessed with it. A sixth- and seventh-grade language arts position opened up at our middle school shortly after the school year ended and it caught my eye instantly. While I'm so, so sad to leave Barrie, I know that this new position will offer me opportunities to practice what I know at a different level and learn even more along the way.

At this point, I have no plans to 'shut down' LifeIn4B, as I hope the ideas I used in my fourth-grade classrroom will continue to inspire you for as long as you need inspiration. I'm hoping to start up a new blog (or continue writing on this one) for what teaching and learning looks like in our middle-school language arts classroom. Lastly, thank you for your support in my journey. LifeIn4B has helped me connect with so many of you out there who have the same passion, mission, and vision for our youngsters as I do! Keep on keepin' on!

"Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip."
- Robert J. Hastings


  1. Can't wait to follow a new blog of your new journey! Your blog has inspired me, and helped transform my teaching!

  2. Best of luck to you in your new adventure!
    Language Arts ROCKS!!!

  3. best of luck! I've only recently stumbled on your blog but I know I'll refer to it for a long time to come!

  4. I look forward to learning about your new journey. Last year I left elementary to teach 7th grade English and I love it.

  5. Good luck to you! I have learned so much from you and have shared so many of your wonderful 4th grade lessons with my colleagues and will continue to do so. Those sixth and seventh graders are so lucky to have you as their teacher!

  6. Good luck! I know you will be amazing!!!! :)

  7. Good luck! I truly love your blog and you have inspired me. My teaching path is changing this school year too. I am moving from a classroom teacher to a gifted teacher. I am saddened that I will not have "my own class". Best of luck in your endeavors.
    Learn with ME in Grade Three

  8. Good luck with your new position. Middle school rocks! I teach 6th grade Language me if you want to talk shop.

    Justin Greene

  9. The children of Barrie have been SO lucky to have you as a teacher! I guess it is time we shared you with the rest of the district...hoping to see you again in a year or two! You have transformed the way the kids see reading and communicate their thoughts to the world - that is priceless. Ggood luck in the fall!

  10. Oh, those kids are going to be some lucky ones to get you! Good luck in your new postion. I will be teaching US history to 5th/6th grade next year as well as 5th grade english so I can't wait to see what you post! :)


  11. I am excited for you and your new adventure, but even more excited that you will be teaching/guiding at the middle school level! I know that no matter what age you are working with, they are lucky to have you!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  12. Looking forward to reading about your new adventure. Best of luck in your new position!
    My Second Sense

  13. Congratulations! I, too, look forward to reading about your new kids and your new adventure!


  14. Congratulations! Please continue to BLOG. I look forward to seeing what you do in 6th and 7th grade. Enjoy the last days of summer break!

  15. Congratulations! Good luck in your new adventure and thank you so much for all you have done up to this point. I can't wait to follow your new blog!


  16. Congratulations on your new position! I hear once you go to middle school, you stay put. Thank you for keeping this blog. I plan to use several of your ideas.

  17. I have been stalking you for awhile and have always loved how involved your posts are. To me its good old fashioned effective teaching. I know you use new strategies and all but I'm referring to your involvement in each step. I taught third grade last year and your posts kept me on track with what they should be doing next year. It was great for my gifted students even if they don't know where the inspiration came from. I have guided my above level students more this year than in all of my 21 yrs teaching. It is really nice to keep up with grades below and above what you teach, keeps the perspective on track.
    I've taught middle school English and had a hard time with a group of students but enjoyed the ones that enjoyed my class. Upper elementry seems to be the place for me and your posts on Literacy with your coach has helped me. It was always one area that needs constant attention. Needless to say, I preferred any other subject! Now I can't wait to start a new year with what I've learned and really plan to focus on reading and writing. They can do it, I can do it!

    I wish you all the best in your new position and will continue to follow your posts. Please keep us informed if you start a new blog.
    A grateful follower,

  18. Your blog is wonderful! Thank you for sharing...especially about the Thoughtful Log...

    I love teaching reading and writing...I am moving from grade 4 to grade 6 this year!

    Looking forward to learning more from you!

  19. You know how much I have loved your blog--and now that you'll be teaching some sixth graders--it will be like having a mentor at my own grade level. I am SO excited to hear about your new adventures... and I wish you the best of luck in your new position. I remain a great admirer--no matter what grade you teach!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  20. I am very excited for you, Leanne! The thing is that you can incorporate a lot of your phenomenal ideas at a higher level! Best, best wishes! I will always visit your weblogs, no matter what. :) - Victoria

  21. I'm so excited for you. I've just come to your blog after being assigned a fourth grade position at the end of the year. I'm moving from second so the whole idea scares me. I've gotten some great ideas from you site and am so glad you are leaving it open so I can keep returning to it to freshen up.

  22. I cannot tell you how helpful your blog is. I was assigned a writing class for grades 3-4 later in the fall. This will be my first time working with younger writers and I needed some inspiration. Thank you for leaving this blog open. It's a wonderful resource.

    Best wishes teaching middle school!

  23. I will miss you Miss. bongers

  24. Thank you so much for this wonderful example of what a classroom blog can be in an elementary school setting!

  25. ms. bongers! i hope you still check on this blog! this is Miranda!

    1. Hi Miranda!
      I am SO excited to have you AGAIN as a 6th grader this year! I love seeing your beautiful smile during 1st hour. I'm one lucky teacher! See you Monday!

  26. Looking forward to learning more from you!

  27. I just found out about you from my friend Alyssa J. She said you now teach sixth grade. I would love to share ideas. Do you have a blog for this year?? Thanks!!

  28. I've been inspired by this blog, and hope to use some of the ideas in my 6th grade Social Studies class. Two years ago, I was given the opportunity to move from 4th to 6th grade. Social Studies wasn't exactly my idea of a fun, but I treated it like a Reading class. Each year, something has changed to make this even more challenging. I'm starting to really delve into the history part now, having gotten my feet wet, and can't wait to hear your 6th grade ideas!

    Isn't it great to have students a second time! I've loved the past two years! I also transitioned from Kindergarten to Fourth grade, so had some students twice then. It's a blast!