It always amazes me. After another full year of teaching, problem solving, de-escalating, planning, evaluating, strategizing, meeting, and meeting again, the close of another school year has arrived. With all the exhaustion that accompanies this time of year, I hope that we (as educators and parents) can find some time and energy to reflect on the past school year. While regular examination of our work with children and students is best, sometimes the only time for proper reflection comes at the end of the year. The closure of it all (more like the abrupt stop) naturally summons thoughts and questions regarding what has been, what should have been, and what could be. Consider these questions as you look back over your year of supporting students (or your own children):
- Did I implement strategies, systems, and supports with fidelity – that is, did I use visuals, social narratives, self-monitoring tools, and behavioral supports on a daily basis for at least six consecutive weeks before evaluating effectiveness and proposing any changes?
- What did I spend too much time doing this year?
- What would I spend more time doing if I could go back?
- What is one important thing I learned this year?
- What did I not get to that I had planned on?
- What issue frustrated me this year? How will I be better prepared for facing similar situations next year?
It would likely serve us well to take a small part of our summer break to reflect on questions like these without the stress of school year demands to distract us. If you’re anything like me, better sooner than later (and write it down!).