This is about the time when I write a post that talks about reflecting on the school year. It's a little difficult for me to write about reflecting on the year knowing that this will be my last year at Florence Roche. I do plan on continuing to blog weekly next year...I'll just have to change the name of the blog!
This past week, I participated in a Twitter chat that focused on reflecting on the school year. I loved the concept behind it and wanted to share it with all of you. The reflection centered around three parts of a house: a mirror, a window, and a door. Thank you Kelley McCall, Jay Posick, Mark French, and Ryan Sheehy...hope it's ok to borrow your reflection questions and build on them!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best educator of them all? Ok, I might spend a little too much time with princess dolls. Sorry, that's not the mirror question I was thinking of. Here was the first question that we discussed in the chat:
Like a mirror, what did you do this year to reflect on your practice?
I would also add, if you are looking in the mirror, do you like the educator who is staring back at you?
Are you the same educator that you were in the beginning of the year?
How have you changed and how has that impacted your students?
With the weather getting nicer, and the sounds and signs of summer beginning to appear outside, this is when students (and adults) can't help but stare out the window thinking about days of summer ahead. The next reflection question focuses on the concept of the window:
Like a window, what did you see someone else do that you then implemented in your classroom?
I would also add, did you allow yourself to look out the window every once in a while? Whether that meant observing in another teacher's classroom, learning about something someone did on social media, or simply having a conversation with another educator?
Was there a window into your room?
Did you allow others to see or hear about your teaching?
Did you celebrate and share your successes with others?
Did you also share your struggles and keep the window open for feedback?
Probably my favorite sound of summer is the opening and closing of the screen door. Granted...this year I would probably be ok with a few less door bangs from Miss Emerson who spends a lot of time running out to the backyard and running back in! The question from the chat that dealt with doors was...
Like a door, what opportunities will you open for your students and your colleagues next year?
I would also add, with new leadership next year, there will be lots of opportunities to look at everything through a new lens. How will you help keep the door open?
In what new and innovative ways will you connect with your students, create learning opportunities, and celebrate growth?
Whether you choose the mirror questions, the window questions or the door questions, it's important to stop and reflect on the past year and think about moving forward next year. As we reflect, we constantly improve ourselves and our teaching. And as we improve as educators, automatically our students improve and reap the benefits of our self-reflection.
I finished listening to Brene Brown's Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. There are many great quotes that stuck with me from this book. Here's one of them:
"True belonging is not passive. It's not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It's not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it's safer. It's a practice that requires us to be
vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who
we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard
I am excited that I just added Hillbilly Elegy to my Audible list. I have heard good things about that memoir.
I am also excited to be reading an advanced copy of a book called Balance Like a Pirate: Going Beyond Work-Like Balance to Ignite Passion and Thrive as an Educator. It's written by three principals, two of whom I am connected to through social media. Excited to be reading the copy and writing a review... my review might end up in the book! That would be super cool.
Events this week:
Monday - Memorial Day, No School
Tuesday - Kindergarten Screening all day at the PTYC, 3rd grade chorus practice 9:15-10:45, K enrichment Discover Spring with Aquatic Insects
Wednesday - Kindergarten Screening all day at the PTYC, 3rd grade school show @ 9:30 in the PAC, 2nd grade Farmer's Bridge enrichment program all day
Thursday - 2nd grader and 4th grader are Principal for the Day!, Grade 3 Evening Concert @ 7:00
Friday - Curriculum Half Day, 12:15 dismissal, Science PD with SU, led by Luke Smith 1:15-3:15
Great things I noticed last week:
- Looking forward to the 3rd grade concert this week! These two 3rd graders were excited to share a song they had composed.
- Head down the 4th grade wing if you want to learn more about honeybees. I have been reading the book King of the Bees to the 4th and 3rd grade classrooms and have enjoyed discussing these amazing creatures.
- 4th graders had fun practicing teamwork and learning about algorithms while doing Breakout Edu! Remember when we had a little friendly staff competition at the beginning of the year?! Thanks to Audra for helping the 4th grade team.
- I had many kindergarten writers visiting me this week to share more persuasive letters. Wondering if the new FloRo will have a pool? They also want a "bring your pet to school" day! Their writing and their ideas certainly put a smile on my face.
Need some motivation to write this summer?! Check out this link where there will be daily prompts every day from now until September 5: https://movingwriters.org/2018/05/16/the-100-days-of-summer-writing/
Love this post for parents by Pernille Ripp about summer reading: https://pernillesripp.com/2018/05/26/parents-how-to-create-great-summer-reading-experiences-for-all/