Entering the Reflection Phase of the School Year

Even though I haven't been a new teacher in a while, I still find this graph relevant. While these phases may be more dramatic as a first-year teacher, I feel like experience these phases every year.

Now that I find myself in May all of the sudden, I am definitely in reflection mode. At the same time that I'm trying to figure out how to make the most of my final weeks with these kids, I'm thinking about how the year has gone, and what I'd like to do differently next year.

This year I keep coming back to the two main goals or mantras I set for myself in September: "Go for broke" and "Do good work."

At this point in the year, I feel closest to achieving these goals than any other time. Our students are putting the finishing touches on their race and racism informational writing this week. This work has felt challenging, but also has made me feel like I'm taking a real risk. We have talking about race and racism explicitly for almost three months straight now. While the unit has been a messy learning experience, it's one I'm proud of. It is a unit that I hope would make James Baldwin proud. It is a unit that I consider a consistent effort at "good work."

Soon our 5th graders will present their learning at a conference. They'll be the youngest presenters there. There's so much work to do, and not much time to do it, but I feel like if we can pull off this one unit successfully, it will make this whole year worthwhile.


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