One of the things I love most about being a teacher is the ability to "reset" at the end of each year. It gives me time to reflect on what I've done well and where I hope to improve.
Even though I've been in the habit of requiring my students to complete formal reflection activities for years, I haven't ever been forced to any formal reflection of my own. And I think one of the greatest things in this teaching blog community is our ability to celebrate each others' successes and encourage each other when we need it most.
This linky is all about reflecting on the past school year, both personally and professionally. It's completely up to you how detailed you want to be in your responses, which is why I didn't create a form for you to complete. Instead, I've posed three questions for you to consider and can't wait to read your responses!
End-of-Year Reflection Questions:
- What was the biggest professional challenge you faced this year?
- What was the biggest personal challenge you faced this year?
- How do you think you've grown from your experiences?
- My biggest professional challenge was adjusting to a struggling charter school environment after years of working in very successful districts. This meant learning to teach students who were several years behind their peers when my previous experience was literally the opposite. I also had to learn how to discipline. I thought I knew this before, but I didn't realize how relative "discipline problems" could be until this job. Finally, I learned how to function with the pressures that come with a charter school fighting to stay alive. I learned how to give my administration what they needed without losing myself in the process. It's all about balance.
- My biggest personal challenge was moving 900 away from friends and family. I missed the birth of my friend's children, my grandma's funeral, many birthdays and holidays. I learned how to depend on Joel support in ways I've never depended on anyone but my parents. I've learned who is really important to me and am more appreciative of these people in my life.
- The biggest way I think I've grown is that I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. I've stretched myself well beyond my comfort zone, and sometimes that stretching was painful. In the end, though, I feel like I've really grown this year, and for that, I'm grateful.