Make Time to Reflect at the End of the YearBrooks
As the end of the school year approaches, many of us get very busy with all of the different activities that seem to get piled on as the school year comes to a close. We also feel the anticipation about closing out another year of teaching elementary Spanish. In short, the end of the year can be a very distracting time. This is unfortunate because the end of the school year should be a time for reflection.
Reflection is a Valuable Teaching Strategy
One of the most underrated and valuable strategies you can use to improve your teaching is reflection. The benefits include:
- Reflection reveals insight into your strengths and weaknesses.
- Reflection gives you a clear picture of what you do well and what you can improve.
- Reflection allows you to imagine new ways to build on your strengths.
- Reflection turns thoughts into action and helps you teach with maximum effectiveness and efficiency.
How Can I Practice Reflection?
In order to reflect effectively, I like to get away from my classroom environment by going for a walk or getting in a relaxing space at home. Then I try to think about my classes without getting caught up in the stress of daily tasks. Once I am in the right space, I ask myself:
- What is working well?
- What concerns do I have?
- Is there something that has been bothering me?
- Is there something I’ve been wanting to celebrate?
- Is there something I’ve been wanting to try?
- Is there something that I need to communicate?”
I’ve also found it very effective to reflect on specific students in order to gain insight into how I am addressing individual learning styles and needs.
I always take notes as I reflect. Taking notes not only helps you remember your insights, but it also helps you turn those insights into practice.
Make Time to Reflect
There are many distractions in our daily teaching routines. Ideally, reflection takes you out of your busy routine and gives you the opportunity to process thoughts and ideas which constantly run below the surface of your thoughts. The end of the school year is the opportune time to reflect while thoughts and ideas about your classes are fresh in your mind.
Because we are so busy all of the time, it is important to intentionally make time to reflect. Between all the end of the year parties, field trips, and presentations, try to carve out some time to do this. Your teaching will improve, and the outcomes for your students will improve.