Every summer I sit and reflect on what went well the previous school year and, more importantly, what didn't go well. I ask myself:
- What changes are needed to my classroom environment to stimulate a safe space for all students?
- How can I continue to accommodate all learners in my lesson planning?
- What units of instruction received positive feedback from students AND showed evidence of high levels of student growth and engagement?
- How successful was I in teaching all the necessary standards?
- What instructional challenges did I face on a regular basis?
- What will I do to continue my professional growth throughout the school year?
- How will I engage my students in learning activities that encourage student voice and choice on a regular basis?
The act of reflecting on these questions allows me to plan and adjust my practice for the following year. Based on my reflections from the 2018-2019 school year I have decided to make some changes to my practice that will allow for more student agency and provide easier to navigate access to monitoring growth and progress.
For the 2019-2020 School Year I plan on:
- Continuing to build interest in reading by keeping daily independent reading time. This was mentioned by almost every student to keep (and some even wanted longer periods of time!).
- Build interest in books by keeping a working recommendation slide deck that all students can access and add to. I used this in my Summer Learning Lab class this summer and it received great feedback from students, along with providing a repository of student-recommended books.
- First Chapter Fridays - I started this at the beginning of last year, but quickly fell out of the routine. I want to be consistent with this from now on; however, I am probably going to just focus on reading an excerpt from a book on Friday's that I feel will make students interested in knowing more.
- Building and maintaining a Class Site that will update regularly and will act as the main hub of communication for parents and students on standards of learning and classroom expectations.
- Begin to make the switch to Standards-Based Grading and building student portfolios. (There will be a separate post on this later that will share my process and collaboration experiences to build this experience for my students!)
- Become an ISTE certified educator.
- Continue to build facilitation and coaching skills that provide teachers with relevant, hands-on professional development experiences.
- Learn and implement restorative practices by blending with culturally responsive pedagogy and maintaining a trauma-sensitive approach with my students at all times.
- Be consistent with allowing for student feedback and adjusting instruction to my student's needs!
What are your goals this school year?