I still can’t believe it, but the school year is rapidly coming to a close! At this time of year, it’s easy to get a bit lost in my never-ending to-do list and the piles on my desk that seem to grow taller every day. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed by all there is to do in the short time left, it helps me to step back, take a deep breath, and spend some time reflecting on the year I’ve had. Every year, I feel like I don’t really have time for deep breaths or reflecting, but when I take the time, every year I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned.
I probably spend more time at school than I do anywhere else, so my “What I’ve Learned” list is long — and I’m sure this is true for every educator! I know that I can’t collect data for every kind of learning I’ve achieved, so what do I want to hold on to the most? I decided I’d narrow my list down to five things. Whether I learned these lessons for the first time this year or just finally got the lesson after the 100th chance to learn it, I definitely want to remember them!
This year, I also asked several teachers and students to reflect with me and think about all that they’ve learned this year. Certainly, their lists were long, but I asked them to choose just one thing that I could share with you.
This year, I learned the importance of being positive, patient, and persistent.
This year, I learned that no intervention is right for every student. It's important to get to know the student and make adjustments as needed.
This year, I learned the importance of communicating and working as a team with administration, other teachers, and parents. The teaching world is a much better place to be when everyone is doing their part!
This year, I learned people can be a great resource. If you don't know something, ask! People are knowledgeable and helpful, and they want to share!
This year, I learned to stress less because the kids ARE learning!
This year, I learned that 40 years of teaching goes by very quickly...don't waste it.
This year, I learned "when given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." (From Wonder by R.J. Palacio)
This year, I learned, good or bad, the attitude and expectations I project... reflect.
This year, I learned that hidden talents can appear when you least expect it. Treasure those moments — they are priceless!
This year, I learned that a smile goes a long way and says a million words.
This year, I learned about inferences. An inference has to have text evidence and schema to make it.
This year, I learned more about book reviews, like how you shouldn't give away the ending!
This year, I learned how to make my handwriting better. Cursive was really challenging, but now it's easier for me to do it.
This year, I learned how to do fractions. They're not so hard anymore!
Download a printable "This Year, I Learned…" form like the one pictured. Your students can complete it, and a photo of them holding it will make a simple but memorable end-of-year gift.
I hope that you’ll find time in your very busy end-of-year calendars to do a little reflecting. What do you want to hold on to as you enter the summer break?