The poet, Carl Sandburg once wrote, “It is necessary … for a man to go away by himself … to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?”. The end of the school year is always a vital time to reflect. I usually spend the two summer months that I am not in school thinking about how my year has gone and what can be improved for the coming year. For example, I know that this summer, I will be fiddling with new ideas (and technology) that will help me to stay in contact with parents more frequently and more efficiently next year. As teachers, we are lucky to have the time to reflect in between each academic year. Summer months rejuvenate, inspire, and allow us to be better than our past selves. There are many ways that people choose to reflect on their year; here are a few of my favorites:
1. Enjoy some time off first.
This is something I struggled with during my first few summers off. I needed to fill my days with something, whether it be reading a new methodology book, reorganizing my binders and handouts, or even just going pin-crazy on Pinterest. I’ve since learned how very important it is to clear your head, relax, and separate yourself a bit from the year that has just ended. I feel you go into your reflections with a more open mind.
2. Define your current strengths and weakness.
When you have finally relaxed, think about where you stand as a teacher. Be proud of your accomplishments and your strengths, and be aware of your weaknesses. I find that from summer to summer these strengths and weaknesses are always changing and it is interesting to see what I still need to improve upon.