Have you started reflecting on this past school year as it winds down, or are you not ready yet? Was it #bestever, #worstever, or somewhere in between?
Set aside some time this summer (the sooner the better – while the year is still fresh in your mind) for some serious reflection. What went well? What didn’t go so well? Be honest and don’t beat yourself up – the perfect teacher does not exist.
First of all, if you are a first year teacher then please give yourself a round of applause. The first year is hhhaaarrrddd. For everyone.
In fact, if you want to take a minute to celebrate getting through your first year, please do. I’ll wait.
Think about allllllll the details.
- What is the start of your class like? What are you doing when the bell rings? What are kids doing when the bell rings? (Do your routines make things run smoothly?)
- How do you take attendance? (Is it easy and fast for you? Do you forget every other day?)
- How do you transition between activities? (Do kids stay on task? Or is that when you lose them?)
- How much English do YOU speak during class? (Do you get anywhere close to that 90% goal?) How can you hold yourself accountable next year?
- How much English do your kids speak during class? How can you hold them more accountable next year?
- What types of activities do kids love and stay engaged with?
- What types of activities bombed?
- How do you conclude your class periods? (How do kids know it’s time to pack up? Do you give them an exit ticket or use other strategies to close?)
- How do you collect and pass back work? (Is it easy and efficient?)
- What are your routines for grading papers in a (hopefully) timely manner?
- What (if any) topics did you spend too much time on? What (if any) topics did you not spend enough time on or not get to?
- How much time per week did you spend on grading? Or on planning? How can you make these tasks more efficient?
- How often did you reach out to parents? How can you communicate more effectively next year about their child’s progress?
Start with what went well.
Make a list and think about what you definitely want to keep doing next year.
Think about routines that you can tweak or improve next year.
Really take your time pondering and thinking. Bounce ideas off of a teacher friend. Check out this post for a refresher on classroom management.
Extra Credit for the people who love planning (i.e. My People!):
- Are you thinking about incorporating a Baile Viernes in your classroom?
- Do your kids love coloring activities even half has much as mine ever did?
- Have you ever thought about teaching a novel?
- Do you want to start using task cards?
- Are you going to keep track of participation with “pesos” next year? (This actually is a nightmare to keep track of in my experience, so I wish you the best of luck if you decide to go down this road.)
- Does the idea of interactive notebooks sound fun?
- Would your kids just love listening to Spanish music in class?
- Can you keep kids engaged with more authentic resources in your classroom?
- Do you need more ideas for listening activities you can use in a pinch?