There are 13 school days left in the current academic year. While my middle school team finalizes plans and special schedules for final tests and Spirit Week, I find myself in a reflective state of mind. I also find myself looking ahead to a productive summer and, yes, even the upcoming fall. After nine years of teaching, a sort of end-of-year ritual is starting to come together for me. Below are the key aspects of this so-called ritual as it stands today.
1. I survey my students. I ask them what they liked, what they didn't like, and give them a space to leave me a note of any kind if they wish. I now use Google Forms for this.
2. I reflect. I think about what worked this year and what didn't with help from the aforementioned student survey, I. I make sure to include my special education teacher in this conversation to get her perspective since she knows more than anyone (besides my students) what goes on in my class. Which brings me to my next point...
3. I make a list. I make a list of what I will keep for next year and what I will toss. If I'm really on top of my game I start this list during the year.
4. I make another list. This list is my summer list. I outline what I want to do over the summer to make the following year better. Besides setting up my classroom, I might add things like reading certain books or articles (which I've saved in a "summer" folder online) and researching certain topics (Standards Based Grading is on deck for this summer).
5. I organize. I do my best to organize my files, handouts, folders, binders, etc. Organizing my room at the end of the year makes the fall a hundred times easier!
Which of the above do you also do? What should I add to the list? Consider leaving a comment. I'd love to hear from you.