I spent yesterday working on the big room clean-up and although it's not one of my favorite tasks, I found it to be a terrific opportunity to think about the year past and the year ahead. The big clean up inspired me to finish-up school year reports, furniture orders, and assessments of the year in general.
Tomorrow I'll have the chance to hear the school leaders' closing messages and do a few last tasks to close out the year--a year which I believe was an overall success.
In the new year, I want to be sensitive to my position as a veteran teacher of 32 years. I want to be sensitive in ways that help me to listen to my younger colleagues and let them lead. I want to be sensitive in ways that help me to form positive, modern relationships with children and families, relationships that take into account the many socio-economic changes that have occurred throughout my tenure as a teacher. And I want to be sensitive to my growing practice and the work I've done to teach well--I enjoy what I do and have put substantial effort into that work, it's important that I recognize that and trust my instincts with that in mind.
The year, as I've written about many times, will find me digging deeply into all aspects of classroom life including the following:
- Building strong relationships with students and families.
- Getting to know students--what they love, what they want, what they need, what challenges them, who they hope to be, and what they hope to accomplish
- To make the teaching/learning program an ongoing conversation about both individual and collective learning and goals
- To work towards making learning events scaffolded, meaningful, relevant, engaging, and empowering
- To make time to listen to the children regularly and to respond sensitively
- To work with my colleagues to continue to build the wonderful fifth grade program we are committed to.
It takes time to end a year--a year that becomes one book of many in your career. It's important to give yourself that time to assess, reflect, and plan ahead.
Only then I am ready to embark on summer fun, family events, and personal aspirations.