Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where did the Year Go?

Here we are on June 22, 2016 and I am reflecting on the 2015-2016 school year. I realize that I was able to achieve some of what I set out to do and that on other fronts, I did not quite reach the goal line. Here are some of the thoughts I have about the school year.

  • I did a decent job of posting glimpses into the math curriculum until February. The snapshots capture interesting moments in our math journey. I dropped the ball in March and was unable to get back to documenting and reflecting about our work. I would like to continue this practice next year and strive to do better and make it further into the year.
  • It was challenging to track and manage three different curriculums and have time to reflect on the work. Reflection is a vital aspect of the learning process and I strive to create more space and time for reflection and to actively work at not getting swept up in the break-neck speed of life. I hope to do that more for myself and my students. 
  • I am proud of all that we achieved together in each of my classes.  In reading the students' self-reflections about their year in mathematics, there was much to celebrate and acknowledge. It was satisfying to hear students reflect back many of the values and practices that I value as a teacher and a learner. It was gratifying to see the growth in all of the students and especially when they were able to recognize their growth edges and accomplishments. 
  • I had students write a progress report for me as their final assignment in 6th grade. I enjoyed reading them and was reminded of how it feels to be assessed on something that is very personal. Much of their feedback was similar and it was reassuring to get similar feedback from students who find math easy to the students who struggle with mathematics. The comments that stung highlighted the areas that I know I need to address.
It is hard to capture all the ideas, thoughts, questions, and feelings that run through my head at this time of year. It boils down to this: I love what I do. I love that it is challenging and that I will never get it all right. It is the journey and striving towards "better" that keeps me coming back.  I will take the summer to recharge and to fill my tank. I look forward to next fall and having the privilege of trying to do it all over again.