It feels good doesn’t it? The term is almost over and you will soon be free to binge watch the shows you pretended to be up-to-date on during the school year. (I speak from experience, still not caught up on GoT but I do know who sits on the Iron Throne). Before you flee for a well deserved break, I am imploring you, on behalf of future you, to take some time to reflect.
There are some things that you probably thought could go better next time around. Think back to the first few weeks, midterms, last week; I promise some great ideas about how to make lessons better occurred to you after teaching those lessons.
I encourage you to not only think about improvements, but to also think about successes. Did you get your kids talking? Use some cooperative learning tasks? Have a weekend day off each week? What did it take to accomplish these things? Reflect and document so that you know how far you’ve come and where you want to go.
Now, find a way to capture those ideas and noticings. Maybe you comment on your lessons in Google Drive. Maybe you have a beautiful notebook you write your ideas in by topic. Maybe you record videos to yourself because you don’t enjoy writing and put them on a private youtube video. Whatever it is, I am pleading, note those ideas somewhere.
I get it, not everyone will actually reference their reflections when the lessons roll around again next year, but the value is not just in remembering it for next time. There is value in sitting down and thinking about what you do. Perfecting your craft (remember teaching is a craft) takes critical self-reflection. Also, while you are at it, why not take a minute to write down some personal goals for your break (have you seen Schitt’s Creek???) and for when you come back to the classroom. Also, make sure your students check in on the goals they hopefully set earlier this year.
So now you know what you need to do: Ready, set, reflect!