As the school year comes to a close, it’s important to take time to reflect on the year and all of the growth and change that has happened. Use this end of the year reflection as a guide to look back on the year, acknowledge the challenges, celebrate your growth, and honor the connections you’ve made.
The first step in the end of the year reflection for teachers is to simply look back on the year and notice its ups and downs.
Each school year brings different challenges, twists, and turns. 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. Think about all of the ways that you adapted, changed, and overcame those challenges.
Whether you take some time to reflect by journaling in the peace and quiet, while out on a walk, or as you pack up your classroom, I encourage you to make some time for reflection. It will help you decompress and leave this school year on a positive note so you can enjoy your summer.
As you are reflecting on those challenging and tough moments of the year, it can be easy to slip into a negative head space. Some of these moments might be difficult to revisit or feel uncomfortable.
However, I encourage you to begin to shift your perspective of the situation. Sometimes we only see how we “failed” or “fell short”, but we forget to acknowledge what we did right or the positive intentions that we had.
For example, you may have had a tough moment with a student where you lost your patience. It would be easy to see this as a failure, but what if you acknowledge how you apologized to that student? Or the great conversation you had with this student later? Or how you maintained your patience during the next tough moment?
As you begin to examine this year's challenges, you’ll probably also notice your growth!
Ask yourself: What did you learn through your challenges and tough moments? Did you overcome challenges that you are proud of yourself for? What new strategies and techniques did you learn because of these challenges?
No matter what was thrown at you, I bet you found different ways to teach, motivate, and inspire students. And that is something to be proud of. I encourage you to look for the good that came out of this year’s tough moments.
You might also notice in your end of the year reflections that connections were essential to your job. Relationships with your students, their parents, administration, and other teachers are important to being the best teacher you can be.
With colleagues and administration.
Think about the connections you’ve made with your colleagues. Who was there for you during the tough moments? Who helped you see the light when things felt overwhelming? Those are the people you want to keep around!
During your end of the year reflection, you can also ask yourself: How did your relationships grow this year? Did you work collaboratively to solve problems, plan lessons, and provide opportunities for students to learn and enjoy school? How did these relationships affect the school morale this year?
With your students and their parents.
Your connections with your students are one of the most powerful ones you have! These connections can help you make strides in learning and help you out when there is a behavior issue.
Of course, the relationships with their parents can also make a big impact, especially with kindergarten students. Having a parents trust and support can impact your year in a really positive way.
During your end of the year reflection, ask yourself: How did you feel about the connections you made with students and their families? Is there anything that worked really well? What do you wish you did more of? How did positive relationships impact your year? Was there a method of communication that was really helpful?
I hope this end of the year reflection inspires you to honor the challenges, celebrate the growth you’ve made, and appreciate the connections you’ve formed. No matter how this year went, you have powerful lessons and experiences to bring to next school year!