My “desk” (wherever I happen to be seated amongst students in any class on any day) is often shared with the full group of students gathered for discussion. The result is a Thanksgiving-like, familial* gathering where we feast on a smorgasbord of ideas and stories. Just like at any holiday gathering of loved ones, there are disputes, controversies, side conversations, word games, appreciations, constructive criticisms, and many, many laughs. For these moments I am grateful.
*This is my second year with our seventh graders and my third year with our eighth graders. Looping wasn’t something that I had really considered before and it wasn’t in the original plan for our middle years program, but now, I’d have it no other way – I’ve had the chance to know these students like I’ve know no others.