Congratulations! You made it to the end of the school year! During the craziness of the final days, it is important for teachers to take a moment to reflect on the past year and begin to plan toward the next. There are multiple ways teachers reflect. Elena Aguilar, an instructional coach in California and author of The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation (Jossey-Bass, 2013), shared an article with Education Week titled Reflecting on a Year of Learning (2014).
Aguilar suggests two ways we reflect are through talking and writing. "Some people like to talk more than they like to write; some like to write more than talk. Most of us benefit from a mixture of activities." She encourages teachers to find someone to reflect with (possibly a school team), and as you reflect to use talking and writing to expand your ideas.
She also suggests teachers can draw out their year and map it from beginning to end visually using art. Reflect on the whole year and design symbols or pictures to show important events.
Need help getting started? Here are some questions to ponder and begin the reflection process:
- What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?
- What did you try for the first time this year that was successful?
- Which student in your class showed the most improvement? Why did they do so well? What did you do to help them?
- What caused you the most stress this year? Are there things that can help eliminate that stress or make it more bearable?
- What things do you plan to try differently next year? What support might you need? Is there someone in your building or district that can help you?