I have been thinking about how we end the school year. Not for our students, but how we, as educators, end the school year. I know that in the craze of the last few weeks of school we can often lose focus, fail to reflect, move in a zombie-like state day after day. It’s exhausting and it’s sad as we watch our students move on.
I am connected to lots of educators via social media platforms. I have been keeping an eye on how they are ending the school year. Many are posting about packing up, moving classrooms, faculty meetings, and cum folders. I don’t know if there is a “right” way to finish out the school year. I have been a part of many conversations about post-planning schedules, discussions around faculty meetings and professional development. I am also not that far removed from teaching and I remember the meetings, some useful and some pointless. I also can’t remember a time I was ever asked to reflect on my year, on my students’ learning and my growth and I think this was a missed opportunity.
I am such a strong believer in educators being reflective practitioners because I have benefited from my own reflection.
It can be as simple as setting goals for the upcoming school year or listening to music and journaling about the year. Then sharing our noticings with our colleagues. Connecting, supporting, and communicating. But, it requires that we carve out the time to do this. It requires us to take a step back from the craziness of awards ceremonies and field days and meetings. It requires we take time to reflect. After all, what we learn in one year, the good, the bad and the ugly, can and should be used as a tool to enhance our practice and impact our future students. And, I am a strong believer in putting all of this in writing so we don’t forget all those lessons learned when the chaos of the beginning of the school year is upon us the next fall.