Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Musings: It was a good year!

This was a positive teaching year all in all. We gave students a short survey, and overall they were positive. We asked them many questions about their favorite field trips, how to improve environmental education, and about the teaching/learning program in general. When it came to favorites--the answers varied a lot which showed that by providing a range of experiences, we provided everyone with areas of interest as well as areas of challenge. As far as the climate change projects, their overall responses matched my own observation which is that teamwork is a central theme of fifth grade, and a theme we can continue to support in multiple ways throughout the year. As we move into more and more project based learning and collaborative projects, learning to work as a team is essential. And, with regard to the overall program, the most common comments centered around more loving, kind, personal attention, the kind of attention that's not always easy when you are teaching large groups of students at once.

The big work is done, and the last two days will find students sharing their cardboard arcade games, collecting signatures for their autograph books, cleaning up their desks/drawers, and joining with the school and the grade-level for special meetings.

It's our principal's last few days too--he's taught and been a principal in our system for many years. He will be missed.

To put closure on the year, we'll have some warm and happy days, and then it will be time for a break before working on next year's goals.

Keepers from this year include the following:
  • lots of great field studies
  • positive standards-based program
  • significant personal attention to students 
  • great collaboration with the grade-level team
Areas where I want to grow the program include these main priorities:
  • continuing to develop positive partnerships based on a good teaching/learning routine and attention to students' needs with students, families, and colleagues who work with our fifth graders.
  • deepening and bettering math and science education based on an analysis of formal and informal program metrics
  • integrating social-emotional learning goals such as metacognition, teamwork, perseverance, self-advocacy, questioning, and more into the overall program
Good leadership at the helm affords me the time and ability to focus in on the classroom program. 

Again, it's been a most positive year-long journey with these wonderful fifth graders. I wish them continued success--they will bring the world good things. Onward.