After the final bell rings and the students have left for the summer, teachers have a limited amount of time to close down their classrooms before they too must leave for summer break. This is a hectic time of the year, filled with returning materials, breaking down the classroom, and making sure students finish their final tasks and exams. It’s also a great time for teachers to analyze their own growth and success.
It’s important for teachers to take about 20 to 30 minutes to reflect on the school year. The emotional state at the end of the year can be raw, offering an opportunity for teachers to be completely honest with themselves.
Teachers of every level of experience and subject can ask specific questions to take stock of their year as a whole. It’s helpful to handwrite the responses in a journal to make it as open and organic as possible.
- What were your favorite lessons that you absolutely must do again next year?
- Which lessons were total disasters and need more time to think about and rework?
- Did you choose the best order in which to teach topics throughout the year? What would you change?
- Was your classroom management system effective this year? If so, what changes did you make that seemed to work the best? If not, what areas will you want to analyze more for next year?
- Were you able to accomplish all your goals for the school year? Was there any lesson/topic you had to leave out or felt rushed to cover? Brainstorm some ways to make more time for these topics next year.
- What were some of the frustrations in your life, in your classroom, or in your building that you may need to address to make next year more enjoyable?
- What was your favorite overall moment from this school year?
- What did you learn about your teaching craft this year?
- Do you feel you had a strong work/personal life balance?
- Next year I would like to do more ______________.
- Next year I would like to do less ______________.
- Next year I would like to try _________________.
Congratulations! You have completed another year of hard work and dedication to your career in education. Be proud of yourself! Look over these reflections again after a few weeks off and start preparing for next year.