We are officially halfway through the school year! Can you believe it? Some of us are already enjoying our winter breaks and others are pushing their way through another few days of craziness. Either way, we’ve completed half of the 2017-2018 school year…and now we sit to think about how it’s going so far.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this time of year can often bring our biggest fears and doubts to the forefront of our minds. We can look at assessments or the behavior of our students in the last few weeks and wonder what we’ve been doing wrong this whole time. On the other hand, this time of year is a great time (once you’ve had a few days to just sleep it off) to think about how things are going – what’s going well and what needs to be improved for our students to reach success (however that might look) by the end of the year.
I hope you get a chance to relax and rejuvenate over your break, but I also hope you take some time to think through what you’re going to kick ass on over the next few months with your students. I’m very much a list person, so check out my halfway-through-the-year reflections in these beautifully organized lists:
What’s Going Well
- My students think I’m doing a good job!
- My lesson planning is efficient and aligns with what I want my students to learn (not just the content, but the “why” behind the content)
- I have strong relationships with most of my students and my classroom is a joyful place (for the most part)
- I push my students towards higher level thinking and ensure that they understand the bigger picture behind what we learn
- I provide feedback on student work very regularly and keep track of their learning for myself
- I’m doing pretty well as a coach and feel that I am able to support and empower my teachers to achieve their goals
What I Need to Do Better
- My students want more games, hands-on activities and interactive group work
- I need to be able to get creative with my lesson plans and bring in more contemporary events and engaging activities
- I need to understand and implement strategies to help me handle a very small class and a very large class (still working on that, guys)
- I need to help my students learn how to ask questions and take ownership of their learning
- I need to be able to use my knowledge of student learning to create remediation and extension activities
- I need to be able to differentiate my coaching based on what my teachers need at the time
Please note: this is not an exhaustive list. There are always tons of things I would like to be better at as an educator and as a coach at any given time, but I’ve picked out the ones that stand out to me and the ones I can pick and choose from to focus on from January-May.
If you get a chance to think through your school year thus far, share some of your goals with me. It’s always nice to see what’s similar and get some inspiration for more things I can work on!