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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Do It Better

I'm feeling very sensitive during these last few days of the school year. I've taught many of these students for two years and I care about all of the students deeply. They are a wonderful group of students and I will miss them.

As I think about the year, there were many successes for all of us and there were some challenges too. We're never perfect, but we can always strive to do the work better. What does that mean for me and my craft as an educator?

Relationship
I want to build a caring teaching-student relationship with all children in even deeper ways in the future. One way that I'll do this is to have small groups of students to lunch at the start of the year. I'd like to have lunch with every student by the end of October as one way to get to know each child well.

Birthdays
We'll honor birthdays with a special chair!

Community
We had a great community. There was minimal discontent and many friendships. The stress, at times, was caused by a need for more consistent protocols and more time for class meetings. Next year, I want to make more time for short, pointed, collaborative student//teachers team meetings to plan and problem solve, and more consistent, inclusive protocols. Beginning the year with this intent will help us achieve that goal.

Respect
It's important that we discuss respect often. I need to model respect and students also need to show respect. In most cases this year, we were all respectful, but there were times when one or another would not show respect. Clear respectful protocols and signage as well as stopping to make the time to coach respectfully when disrespect occurs is integral.

Team
We'll spend a lot of time upfront at the start of the year to talk about and practice team. I'll really work with students to create great, teaching/learning teams. I'll also work with families, colleagues, and leaders as part of a dynamic teaching/learning team.

Communication
Our weekly newsletter and regular conversations with the class and individual students really helped in this regard.

Content and Curriculum
We met the curriculum standards with depth and plan to do this again next year.

Choice and Voice
Students had a lot of choice and voice, but next year I want to work with students more in this regard.

Response
I'll create an inclusive response pattern so that every student gets regular positive, constructive response on a regular basis. Every child deserves personal attention throughout the year.

Fun and Adventure
We had lots of fun and many adventures which was terrific.

Special Events
We had many special events and each time the students rose to the occasion and shined.

Warm and Welcoming Learning Environment
This year, for the most part, the learning environment was warm and welcoming. We had inspiring signage, rug areas, cozy chairs, lots of light, and many toys and craft supplies.

Advocacy
I will continue to advocate for all of my learners so that they get the services, attention, and learning they deserve.

There are so many elements to teaching well, and there are always areas of strength and areas of challenge. I look forward to continuing to grow my craft in the year ahead. In the meantime, however, I'll enjoy my last few days with this very special class.