Why Everyone Should Reflect at the End of the School Year

Why Everyone Should Reflect at the End of the School Year

My first year of teaching was exhausting. Literally and figuratively. There were multiple times when I took a nap Friday afternoon and woke up the next morning.

 

But I survived my first year and was proud of what I had done. Yet, when I started planning the next school year, I threw out almost every lesson (and classroom procedure) I used. Yep, I started over all over again.

 

Why would I do something that nuts? When I reflected on my first year, I decided that while my lessons and procedures were fine, I could do better. So, I did. I attended professional development and researched over the summer, found new lesson plans, and redid my classroom procedures.

 

I reflected that I could do better. So, I did.Click To Tweet

 

And that process was worth it. The next year was SO much better – lessons flowed better, my classroom was calmer, and students enjoyed the course more. That end of the school year reflection was worth it!

 

End of the School Year Reflection

 

I was a teacher, but in fact, everyone – students, parents, and teachers – should reflect at the end of the school year. Think about what went right and celebrate those victories. Think about what didn’t go so right and figure out to make changes for the future.

 

The questions below are meant to guide you through a reflection. Pick at least 3 questions to answer (although I recommend answering more.) Write out your answers and then share them with someone else. It’s a great conversation starter for a family, study group, or professional learning community.

 

But don’t just reflect. Do something! Take your answers and plan positive changes for next school year. If you struggled to turn assignments in on time, research planners over the summer and get a new one. (I love this one!) Maybe your kids were always running late in the morning. Pinpoint changes in the family’s routine to get them out of bed and out the door on time next fall.

 

I went all in after my first year teaching, but you certainly don’t need to. In fact, most changes are fairly modest – altering a routine, designing a study space, or dropping an activity. Don’t feel the need to change everything for next year.

 

Don’t feel the need to change everything for next year.Click To Tweet

 

If you need help actually carrying out your new plans, download my New Year’s Resolution workbook. No, it’s not January, but the process is the same.

School Year Reflection

 

So congratulations on completing another school year! Reflect for 10-15 minutes, make some plans for next year, and enjoy your summer! You earned it!!

 

Reflection Questions

Students

  • What 3 adjectives best describe the school year for me?
  • My best accomplishment was …
  • What was the most challenging part of this year for me? Who or what helped me face those challenges?
  • What is one piece of advice that I would share with a student who is taking the same classes next year?
  • What’s one thing that I saw in my classmates’ work that I would like to try next year?
  • What is one thing I know I can do better next year? What did I do this year that I want to continue next year?

 

Parents

  • What 3 adjectives best describe the school year for our family?
  • What difficulties did my kids have this year? How did I support them?
  • What did I do differently this year? How did that work out?
  • What would I say to my beginning-of-the-year self if I could go back in time?
  • What changes can I make that will make our family more organized/ productive/ happy?

 

Educators

  • What 3 adjectives best describe the school year for me?
  • How did I support students this year? How can I support more students next year?
  • What am I interested in learning about for next year?
  • What can I change to make my classroom run more smoothly?
  • What’s is one thing I saw a colleague do or use in their classroom that I would like to try next year?

 

How do you reflect at the end of the school year? Let me know in the comments below! 


Related Posts: New Year’s Resolutions for Teens, 15 Inspiring Quotes to Finish the School Year Strong

Find out why students, parents, and teachers should take 10 minutes to reflect on this school year! Click through to get reflection questions and activity ideas! | #reflection #endoftheschoolyear


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