Saturday, November 05, 2011

Mid-Semester Reflections

We had a short week last week, and many educators remarked, "That was the longest short week ever!"  I think that remark emanated, in part, from the fact that it's mid-semester (we have two semesters at our school).

Every educator is well aware of the list of standards, goals, curriculum outlines and progress monitoring that exists in each subject and at every grade level. We know where we want to take students, and how we want to get there.  We don't want to overwhelm, yet we do want to see progress.  We know it's a different journey for each child, yet, in most cases, there's one of us and many children to guide, coach, mentor and teach.

There's an upbeat to the tempo in most classrooms come November. Introductions are complete, and routines are in place.  Now there's a need to move forward boosting the pace and expectations--stretching our learners' stamina and effort.

So that leads one to reflection:
  • What are the current goals?
  • What are the expectations?
  • How will we continue to facilitate student learning?
With that in mind, I wrote a letter to the team: students, family members and teachers.  I outlined where we are now, and where we are heading. I welcomed questions and comments. I'll review this reflection with students on Monday morning as we embark on chapter two of the first semester of school.

It's a complex puzzle integrating current standards/goals with students' needs/interests and new teaching venues, technology and ideas, but when embraced as a step-by-step process it becomes more transparent and manageable.

What does your mid-term or semester reflection look like?  How do you communicate your reflections with your team: students, family members and colleagues?  What have I missed in this process? Thanks for listening.  As always, I welcome ideas, comments and debate.