6 Ways to Do an End of Year Teacher Reflection

“Bittersweet,” says the Reading Core Specialist as she sorts cards into zip lock bags. This is how her end of year teacher reflection has been going. And it’s not just her.

Beginnings are scary, and endings are sad. I know this, and I know you’ve got to stay in the middle. But at the end of the school year, there’s no more denial. It’s an ending. And the fact that another beginning is coming is months away.

Many are Moving

It’s not just the two ladies I’ve worked with for years, both basically my age, retiring in the Intervention Office, it’s one first year teacher who’s going to go with her boyfriend to California (how I wish I could do that) another two teachers who are going to our local science magnet school. And then there’s the fifth grade, who, whatever else may be said about them, have among them the first students I taught at my school, when I first arrived.

It feels like those of us remaining with be nothing but a skeleton crew by July.

So: Find a Way to Turn that Frown Around?

I’m sorry, teacher friends, but this is just depressing! How to pick up my mood? I fill my water bottle, put some things in boxes, grab Hersey’s Kisses from the leftover Teacher Appreciation Week Supplies in the Lounge — but those are short term fixes. I cast around for ideas. I do a google search on End of Year Teacher Reflection. And I find an answer — or many different answers.

5 Top Teacher Bloggers Give You Ways to Do an End of Year Reflection

This is what I can do! An end of year reflection in which I give myself credit for what was good, tell myself I will fix what was not so good in the fall, and express gratitude for all the little moments of joy. I search the internet for reflection options.

  1. Into my downbeat mood comes The Printable Princess with her words: “It’s okay to acknowledge that not everything was perfect and there were tough moments. However, you should also acknowledge the positives, big and small..” Thank you!
  2. Asks you think of the good side … and the bad side:: What went well, what didn’t go so well? And more than that for a list of 8 teacher reflection questions together … from Jennifer Findley
  3. Perhaps you’re ready to take a deep dive: How about Rachel Lynette & Co.’s 20 Teacher End of Year Teacher Reflection Questions?
  4. Why self-reflect? Because you’re worth it. Edthena has cut the list of reflection questions down to three, with a commentary to help you
  5. The end of the year is the best time for teachers to make an improvement plan for the upcoming year. If you set goals before summer break begins, you’ll be more familiar with classroom dynamics and have a better sense of how you’d like to improve. From Waterford.

Okay,, here goes. The number six way.

6. My End of Year Teacher Reflection

What went well:

I returned to my school after several months in a charter school that was not a fit. I was soooo grateful to get back where I’d been. Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone. And this year, my students, particularly my first graders, did some really good work. My principal stopped me in the hall and gave me a fist bump — and even more important, he said he wanted to do first grade instruction the same way I’d done it this year, next year. Wow.

I started this blog and worked on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I worked hard on phonics instruction materials and learned more about how they can be implemented. Emily Hanford’s podcast came out in October, Sold a Story, and it seemed that after so many years of saying phonics is important and being … well not laughed at but not really believed all the way — the Reading Wars about balanced literacy might be, maybe not ending, but going into the endgame. I taught two after school clubs, Active Play and Science, and both were very popular with the students who attended, about 20 in each club.

What needs work?

I exhausted myself this year. I had seven groups for a grand total of fifty students, seemingly every day, and even planning all those groups was hard, let alone doing the instruction. I had pretty much zero joint planning time with the grade levels I worked with and it made communication difficult. This was a function of starting mid year. Some of my second graders and kindergartners didn’t get enough small groups because I was very busy giving WIDA and CMAS tests for what seemed like over a month. I didn’t get to be a co-teacher, still for the reason of starting the year late, and so I missed out on all that reflection and camaraderie. The closest teaching friend I’ve ever had is retiring at the end of the week. This is pretty hard, honestly, though I notice that her sadness level about it is zero!

How Will I Improve Next Year’s Results?

Well,I can stay at the same building this year and in the fall make sure leadership knows how important planning time with teachers is to me. Over the summer, I can continue working on my phonics, fluency, and comprehension materials, which may make my groups easier to plan and operate. I can plan how to share the materials with the teachers which should help them. I can rest up and be glad that summer is here, and vow to use my summer time efficiently — doing things I really love and spending time with people I care about.

So that’s my End of Year Teacher Reflection

It’s not particularly deep, but it covers the bases — and it gets me thinking about two important things to work on for next year. Preparing my materials, and having a good attitude. These have not always been my strongest summer suits. I know I can do this, and I’m glad I took the time to reflect. I hope this post will help you, perhaps allowing you to do the same — and happy summer!

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