Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Another Year in the Books

I have always loved end of the year reflection activities.  They involve looking at the goals you set at the beginning of the year and thinking about your effectiveness as a teacher.  This year, my Associate Head of School had a new activity for us.  She had the teachers write report card comments for themselves.  The purpose of the activity was to observe and comment on yourself as though you were an outsider, thus using third person.  It allowed me to think about all aspects of my teaching.  It also helped me to be more honest with the things that I need to improve upon, mostly because I was also giving myself credit for the things I do well.  This activity is exactly what we want when planning meaningful lessons.  We want to plan something that is creative and fun, yet gets the students thinking and reflecting.  It was a very effective exercise, and I enjoyed creating mine very much. In fact, I think this is a worthwhile activity to do throughout the year as a means of checking your status.  We do report card comments for the students multiple times a year, so why not for ourselves as well!

In this post I also want to tell you about an upcoming series on my blog.  This year, I am leaving my job in hopes of finding one closer to home.  In the position that I have held for the past four years, I have been the upper school English teacher at my school.  And for three of those four years I have taught all the seventh and eighth graders.  Many days, it felt like I was the English program.  At times this was a lot of pressure, but it also made the victories that much sweeter.  Now that I am packing up my room and saying my goodbyes, I have realized that I'm not quite ready to relinquish my classroom.  In an effort to make my transition out more smooth, I am writing letters on my blog to new English teachers.  One part of me thinks that these are for the person who replaces me, yet in reality, she probably won't be reading my blog.  It is more of a reflective exercise, and one that I hope some new teacher somewhere will find value in.

So please stay tuned for Letters to New English Teachers coming soon.  

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