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Trailblazers Re-Visited

Earlier this year we talked to Mrs. Burdan’s 5th grade class at Hanover Central Middle School.  Many parents, and students alike, were feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive about how they would fit into a Middle School environment…would they be able to learn?  You can find the full story from this fall simply by scrolling down through the “Headline,” stories and checking out the title “Trailblazers.”  

teacher talking to students

Here are just a couple of paragraphs from the story that aptly displayed just how wide ranging their trepidation was:

It was a bit more challenging to get the students to share specific concerns, but the stairs seem to be at the top of the list of trepidation issues for the students.   Particular concern about students who choose to run up the stairs, was shared with Mrs. Burdan.  The student’s willingness to share is important and can help direct the attention of teachers at the school to specific areas.  Many of the answers revolved around concerns common to all students, no matter their grade or the student’s physical location.  For example, students, like all other students in every school, worried about the test that day and not turning in their homework.  Mrs. Burdan gently redirected the conversation and encouraged students to think of things exclusive to the middle school.   Going to the right classes and bringing the right things to each class were common to several students, as well as learning to open lockers quickly, a concern that many do not realize will stay with them for much of their educational experience from here on.  Some expressed fears about dropping or damaging their Chromebooks or other school property. 

Recess was discussed, and it is the one area where opinions varied widely.  Some students didn’t express any concern about losing the single short recess from elementary school and are enjoying the opportunity to go outside at lunchtime and socialize with their friends, while one student did mention missing the short break, but qualified his statement by adding that changing classrooms almost makes up for the loss.”

This week we were able to return to Mrs. Burdan’s classroom and ask our ‘Trailblazers’ the same questions we asked in the fall.  Were thier answers different?  Yes, indeed.  This time we met a confident, enthusiastic group of students who even had advice for their new Principal, Tom Martin.  He blazed a trail of his own this year, becoming the first principal to lead four grade levels at the school. 

What did we learn?  You can hear the entire chat on our YouTube Channel at the following link…

 Link to YouTube Trailblazer Video

The students are proud of their ‘Trailblazer’ status, proud to be a part of a 'Four Star School' and they also found that fears about getting lost, opening lockers, and falling down the stairs, turned out to be unwarranted.  …And, yes, there was the inevitable discussion about the increased number of Bosco sticks and food in general. 


Thank you for sharing TRAILBLAZERS and Mrs. Burdan!