To Loop or Not To Loop?
Miss Eyre at NYC Educator offers some concise year-end reflections on looping with a class to the next grade level, which she did for the first time between 2010-11 and 2011-12. Among the pros, she says the stability of having the same teacher is good for "your fragile, awkward kids who tend to withdraw. ... [I]t allows some of them to open up and form relationships, with the teacher and the classmates, that might be hard for them otherwise." Looping also "really does allow you to get more done," she writes, because you begin the year with established routines.
There are some cons as well, she explains. For one, "familiarity can breed contempt,"if a teacher and student do not get along, the relationship may continue to degenerate throughout the span. There are also bound to be roster changes. "You will still get kids new to the school," she says, "or kids who had personality conflicts with other teachers, and they will be dropped into a group of 27 other kids who have developed that crazy-close barnacle-like environment with you. You have to work hard to bring those kids into the fold so they don't feel like spare wheels."
Overall, though, Miss Eyre says the positives outweigh the negatives and she'll plan to loop again.
Something to consider as class schedules and rosters are finalized this summer ... (that is, if you have a choice in these sorts of matters).
As always, feel free to weigh in about your own experiences with looping.