Wow. This school year was crazy, and it went so quickly! During the middle, I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive, but now that it’s over, all I can talk about is how “fast” it went.
I read a motivational post earlier this year that said something to the effect of, “why do we always judge ourselves based on what’s left on our to-do list, rather than what’s checked off?” MIC DROP! I’ve been trying to keep that close to my heart as the year went on, but it seems like the end of the year is just a long reflection on all the stuff we didn’t do this year!
That list could be the death of me. I actually CRINGE (and I am not exaggerating) when I think back about all the stuff I didn’t cover, teach well, or “check off” this year. My colleague and I even talked about spending time during our PLC next year sharing successes on a big Google Doc so we can remember the great things, especially during the hard times. What an amazing idea.
So, rather than showing you the list of thing I “didn’t cover,” I’m going to share my pluses and deltas from this year:
- I was transparent about proficiency w/ my students this year and gave appropriate feedback to push them toward those goals.
- Even though there were lots of downs and a limited number of ups, my students read a novel this year and did pretty well!
- My students LOVED having pen pals this year, and while I was not the biggest fan, I’m trying to let student interest guide me in this way.
- I was pretty good about following my motto from last year’s Camp Musicuentos: “I will not sacrifice the good on the alter of the perfect; when I find a resource that is good enough, I will stop looking.”
- My students were using more verbs this year than ever before because I intentionally taught high frequency verbs at the beginning of the year.
- My end-of-the-year strategy for pushing my students: “a one word answer is not acceptable for the second semester of French 1!”
- My end-of-the-year strategy for student feedback: *me, pointing to score or feedback:* “tu es content?” If yes, I said “okay!” If no, I asked them to do it over.
- I did not get through as many units as last year and I think I missed less days … I need to be more intentional in my planning so that we aren’t treading water because of me!
- Interactive notebooks were a hit w/ students … when we kept up with them. I need to streamline these and use them more next year!
- The LOGISTICS of pen pal letters … and then students telling me they “turned them in” when the physical copies were halfway around the world … next year there will be drafts and online submissions or I will pull my own hair out.
- You know how you always feel like one skill falls to the wayside? This year it was listening! I need to be more intentional about listening activities for next year as well.
- Due to my crazy number of classrooms this year, I didn’t keep up with stamp sheets or redos like I wanted to. Next year will ALREADY make this easier, I can tell.
- I left at contract time a lot this year, which meant that grading was a slow and arduous process … but next year, I’ll have a place of my own at the end of the day, which should help with this problem.
I’m sure there are a million more (I have a whole Google Doc of “things to do next year”), but I will leave you with these, and with another wise thing that my colleague said to me:
“Did [whatever is bugging you] hinder your students this year?”
If, like me, the answer is no, than it’s probably not worth worrying about. After all, it is SUMMER — you can find me at the beach, or at least Instagramming about it.