Margin Notes



As another school year comes to an end, it creates time for teachers to pause, take a deep breath, and engage in a process of self-reflection. The end of the school year is an opportune moment to look back, celebrate accomplishments, learn from experiences, and envision a brighter future. Reflecting on the past year can provide valuable insights, renew enthusiasm, and pave the way for personal and professional growth. You may do this by:

  • Celebrating successes
  • Reviewing personal and professional learning
  • Seeking feedback from collegues and students (see Pernille Ripp’s Blog Post here)
  • Committing to self-care
  • Setting new goals

In May, the NYT’s Learning Network published 10 Ideas for Reflecting at the End of the School Year which includes prompts for teachers and students such as:

  • What do you want to remember about this school year? Why?
  • What surprised you?
  • What challenged you?
  • What successes are you most proud of?
  • What did you learn, whether in or out of school?
  • How have you grown?
  • How could you build on that growth next year?
  • When did you leave your comfort zone this year? How did you stretch yourself? What happened when you did?
  • What did you struggle with, or even fail at, this year? What was hard about it?

Our literacy team also suggests considering the following:

  • What professional learning this year engaged or motivated you?
  • What classroom routines and conditions most supported student learning?
  • When did you feel the most prepared and engaged this year as a teacher?
  • What did you do this year to ensure that all students felt seen and heard and valued? What more would you like to do to support this?
  • What was one breakthrough moment you had this year with a student? Can you use this in the future?
  • How were you successful with engaging students? Can you build on this next year?
  • What was the highlight of your year, and how can you create the conditions to include similar moments?
  • What is something you would like to try next year? What learning do you need?
  • What barriers held you back from being the teacher you hoped to be this year? Is there anything in your control that could help you overcome the barrier?

It can be difficult to give ourselves the time and space for reflection that we know is essential for students. We hope the ideas here will inspire you to take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, learn from your experiences, and set new goals that will benefit you and your students.

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