Teacher End of the Year Reflection

8:00 AM

The school year is winding down for educators all across America. For most, it cannot come fast enough. 2020 has been an extremely interesting time for all of us, especially for those who aren’t use to teaching in an online environment. We've had to adjust to make this situation the best that we could for our kids. We’ve done all of this to survive the rest of the school year, but the question now is what do we do next? WE REFLECT!  This blog post will provide you with 5 questions to consider as you reflect on this past school year and begin to plan for the next one.

Question 1: What is something that I did that was great this year or what is something that was a strength of mine?

As we reflect, it is important for us to consider our strengths. The strength could be a particular skill set you have, it could be a subject that you had major success in teaching, or it could be a great project that you were able to carry out. The strength could also be something within you that allows you to give your very best in the classroom each and every day. Discovering your strengths allows you to find things that you would like to replicate for the upcoming school year. They also provide you with something to feel good about, which is super important in our field. Find your strengths!

Question 2: What does the data tell me?

Using quantitative and qualitative data can be extremely helpful.  Qualitative data (from the right person), can tell you a lot about your strengths and areas for improvement. The data can help you to figure out the instructional strategies that have worked and some of those strategies that you may need to improve upon. I always like to take the time to look at the evaluations of my administrators and find one area that I can improve upon. I spend part of my summer developing in that area so that when I go back to school, I am ready to hit the ground running.

Equally as important is quantitative data. This can come in the form of state assessments, school assessments, and/or classroom assessments that your kids are taking. Reflecting on this data can help you find areas of strength and areas of improvement in specific content. Are you stronger in math or ELA? Are you stronger in Measurement or Geometry? Quantitative data can help you figure this out. It can also provide you with something to seek PD for over the summer. It just might also help you decide on a new job placement. Are you a self-contained teacher who might enjoy teaching one subject? Are you strong in math, and maybe your next steps might be to become a math coach? Knowing your strengths can really help you tap into the educator you would like to be, which will in turn allow you begin working towards that goal!

Question 3: What is something I want to improve upon?

As mentioned above, I always like to find one thing to improve upon. Trying to work on too many things at once can become overwhelming. It can also keep you from getting things done. Finding one thing to work on will make it manageable, it can also make a great impact on your students the next year. For me this year, my goal is to work on a plan for monitoring the data. As a coach, I think it’s important for me to know the data and be able to jump in and assist when I need to. This will help accelerate my teachers and scholars to the next level. What is that one thing that you can do this summer that will help you to make a mighty impact on your classroom next year?

Question 4: What will be my plan for improvement?

Once you have that area, create a plan. It doesn’t take much when you have that one area of focus? It could take literally 30 minutes to an hour each day to begin to show improvement. Will reading articles help? What about reading blogs? What about watching tips and videos on YouTube? Whatever it is, make a plan and stick to it. My plan is to finish reading the book Get Better Faster, where it talks about coaching teachers and how to put systems in place for monitoring. I also plan to create documents, schedules, and assessments that will help keep me organized and on target for my goal. I have created a calendar of things to do each day, that will help me get to my end goal. You don’t have to do it all, but whatever you decide to do, create that plan and make it happen!

Question 5: What adjustments will I make to my classroom instruction to allow for more authentic use of technology?

The last question I decided to pose has everything to do with the situation we are facing right now. I am always thinking long term and I realize that our classrooms will never be the same again. I also realize that this could happen again at any time. So, for me I have to think about the adjustments I will make as a coach to ensure that if this were to happen again, my teachers and scholars will be well equipped to handle this situation. I think this is something that we as educators all need to consider. How will we adjust instruction to equip our students with the 21st Century skills they will need to be successful? How will our instruction be different to prepare our scholars for another pandemic? How can we as teachers improve our own learning? I know that for me, I plan to do a lot more of my meetings and PLCs using virtual tools. I also plan to post modules and video aids in Canvas so that my teachers become more familiar with the platforms. I think that as they become more comfortable, they can help our scholars become more comfortable. I’m not saying you have to do what I do, but be prepared to do something!

All in all, take some time to reflect this summer! It can help you feel good about some of the things you have accomplished, and it can also help you prepare to become a better teacher! Reflection is good for the soul!

by The Playbook

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