In the springtime, teachers talk about the next group of kids coming into the grade as “rising ___graders”.  I look at the faces of the fourth graders at assembly, and think of them as “rising fifth graders”.  As in, these are the kids who are about to “rise” up to join my class in the fifth grade.  Come September, these will be my new crop of sprouts.

I was thinking about the term this week, as I get ready to send off my “rising sixth graders”.  Its just such a funny way to look at things! As if the kids are little bubbles, rising slowly, over the course of seven years,  to the top of the water glass that is elementary school.  I have this wonderful image of tiny, dancing bubbles, careening around in kindergarten, and larger, more awkward bubbles sticking together in gossipy clumps near the sixth grade top layer.  It all just sounds so fizzy and fun!

Or I think of the kids as blobs of bread dough, gently and slowly rising toward readiness, to one day be launched into the world as fully cooked loaves.  Some would be sweet buns, some hearty rye, and some would surely turn out to be sourdough, no matter how much sugar we add.

They will rise like stars and planets, these growing children.  Lifting up ever higher in the sky, following the paths of the sun and moon, reaching into the Heavens.

Tomorrow, as I gather them up one more time, on the last Friday of the school year, perhaps I will look at them sprawled on the rug with books in their hands, and I will call them to attention with these words:

“All rise!”


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