Reflections On The End Of The Year
The end of the year wrap-up is here and before we pack up and head to the beach, it is always a good idea to Reflect, Revise, and Connect. As I round out my first semester coaching first year teachers, there are a few suggestions I have offered to my teachers that are effective for all.
Before you leave for summer break, take time to reflect on the year. Analyze what lessons/units worked well, and which could use revision. Reflect on your policies, procedures, and the overall structure of your class. The set-up of your structure can make or break the entire flow of your class and when they are set in routine at the beginning your year will run smoothly. Reflect and revise procedures like how students enter your class, the value of the opening activities, class leaders, make-up work, absences etc. This is also a good time to reflect on your teaching philosophy. The first time we write our philosophy is usually in a teacher preparation program before we step foot into a classroom, so now that the first year is over it is a good time to reflect on how our practice has altered or confirmed our original philosophy.
Before leaving for break it is a great time to revise curriculum. Based on your reflections redesign your yearly curriculum maps. Did the progression work, were the activities engaging, have you integrated creativity and innovation through the arts and STEAM? It is ideal to make these revisions, or at least take note of the revisions before the break while the year is still fresh in your mind.
Plan your summer. Find ways to reconnect with your favorite things. Take a class in your favorite art, sign up for some professional development sessions, or grab a great book. EdCloset has some engaging professional development opportunities coming up! Try the Creative Mindset Blueprint series that provides clarity, building buy-in, strategies and lessons, and assessment and reflection, everything you need to know for arts integration. Click here for more information. Or check out the Connectivity Steam and Arts Integration summer conference, click here! Try grabbing a book to read while basking in the sun with a glass of lemonade. My favorites this year were How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, The Art of Coaching by Elena Aguilar, and Ken Robinson’s Creative Schools. The top of my reading list for this summer is Punishment by Rewards by Alphie Kohn.
So as you wrap up the end of the year, take the time to Reflect, Revise, and Connect…then hit the beach!
Piquès & Pirouettès
Next Week: National Arts Standards
After the 11-month series Unpacking the National Standards, we will reflect and revise the lessons.
Typhani Harris is a dance educator and mentor teacher who has been on the boards of both the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD) and California Dance Education Association (CDEA). Recently, she has made a cross-country move and is now an instructional coach in Brooklyn, New York. Having begun as a high school English teacher, it has been her mission to bring theory and research into the traditional dance class, and in 2009 she won the Music Center’s Bravo award for excellence in Arts Education. Typhani is currently on a mission to help teachers Stop Teaching and Start Reaching their students, check out the unTeacher Lab at stopteaching.org