Since this has been another trying year for teachers everywhere, we believe each of you deserves the time and space to reflect on your experience. Looking at how things went at the end of a school year can help you pave the way for an even better year starting next fall. That's why we asked teachers from the Labster Community Campus to suggest questions to help prompt your reflection.
Here are ten thoughtful answers they had:
1. What went well this year?
The day-to-day is challenging. It can be hard to remember all you've done well this year, making this question perhaps the most essential. What has gone right for you, in your classroom and as a teacher in general? Did you watch a kid succeed and grow? Did you get more organized when it comes to lesson planning? In what ways did you experience success this year?
2. What would I like to do differently next year?
It's not necessary to dwell on this question, but it is helpful to ask. In what ways have you learned from your mistakes? What hasn't gone as planned but has taught you how to do something differently next time? Make sure to forgive yourself for anything that has gone awry and make plans to try something new next year.
3. How am I managing stress?
How have you managed stress this year? Are there ways to improve your stress management? There isn't a shortage of strain in the teaching profession, but administrators can reduce burnout, and teachers can do what's in their power to manage their stress.
4. Can I think of a specific time I felt inspired?
During those challenging moments that will inevitably come, it'll be helpful to remember those important moments where you felt inspired. Was it during a lightbulb moment for a student, a thank you note, or feeling like what you're doing is making an impact?
5. In what ways did I connect with others?
Reflecting on connection can remind you of what matters in teaching. Did you join a Facebook group for teachers or interact with colleagues in a way that felt beneficial? Have you made an impact on the lives of others?
6. How did I grow professionally this year?
Did you take advantage of professional development opportunities? Did a fellow teacher mentor you? Hopefully, your school offers chances to improve your craft. Looking at your recent progress, you can also identify where you want to grow.
7. How was my communication with parents and community members?
Thinking about how effective communication was can set you up for success next year. Did you build relationships with people other than your students, administrators, and colleagues? How did teacher-parent conferences go?
8. What lessons need more interactivity and collaboration for next year?
It's challenging to engage students and get them excited about learning constantly. How can you collaborate with other teachers and use tools to make content more interactive for them? Labster virtual labs are one way to make learning exciting for students.
9. What do I most hope students will remember?
One of your hopes is likely to inspire students to be passionate about their learning. What exactly are you hoping that students will take away from this year?
10. In what ways can I celebrate all that I've achieved?
This question is last but certainly not least. You have a difficult job, and I hope you can take the time to celebrate that you made it through another school year (or your first school year). You deserve it!