Wow, we’re practically in July already?! Whether you’re on school holidays right now, or on your summer break, I hope you’re getting some well-deserved relaxation in! Before heading back to school, it’s so important for teachers to check in with themselves and reset for the months ahead.
While thinking about your class might be the last thing you want to do while on your break, it can be really valuable to do some reflecting on your year in the classroom so far (while you don’t have all those distractions!) and make a bit of a plan to tackle the next term. Self-reflection for teachers may sound like a boring PD exercise your school has set for you, but stick with me, friend!
I promise that considering these few key points will put you in such a good position to go back to school.
Celebrate your achievements
First of all, if you haven’t already, you need to be your own BFF here and call out those victories! They could be small wins, feedback from a parent, recognition from other staff members – whatever they are, I’m sure there are a BUNCH of them. Acknowledging what you’ve achieved so far will help you to identify your strengths and how those are perceived by those around you, too.
You might even want to keep a little notebook or binder to keep track of your wins over time, and look back on those kind words if you’re having a challenging day.
Think about your relationships
In your teacher reflection time, think about how far you and your class have come since that first day of school all those months ago! You’ve learned so much about each other, and it’s your relationships with your students that will help them to succeed in the classroom.
If you’ve noticed students becoming disinterested or disengaged towards the end of term, this could be a good time to rework your classroom boundaries. New terms always bring that ‘fresh start’ feeling, so resetting behaviour expectations can help you get back on the right track.
Relationships go beyond your classroom, too – how have you been getting along with other teachers? Particularly if you’re a new graduate, it can be a bit of an uphill battle to come into a staff room full of teachers who might have their own ideas about the rights and wrongs of teaching.
I myself was bullied by another teacher in my first few years of teaching and it was something that I kept to myself initially – but I wish there had been someone back then to let me know that I wasn’t alone, and that I had a voice.
So let me be that person for you now! You absolutely do not have to put up with any kind of bullying, and you have my support at every step of the way.
Highlight some areas for growth
Getting into a classroom and finally having your own class is such a rewarding experience! With a few months under your belt, you may have realised that those things you were worried about at the start of the year?
Now, they’re some of your favourite parts of teaching! You also probably have a better idea of what you want to work on, things at school you want to get more involved with, or areas where you want to expand your knowledge. These might have been floating around in your brain, but now is the time to write them down and set yourself some goals for the next few months!
While your school’s PD program might already have a process like this, it can be good to think of some goals of your own. These will be achievements-in-the-making for you to celebrate on the other side of the term!
This is not AT ALL to add to the never-ending to-do list you have as a teacher, but sometimes we give so much to our students that we forget to check in with ourselves!
If you have a teacher reflection process or checklist that you use to keep track of your progress throughout the year, I’d love to hear about it! Drop it down in the comments below.
If you need that little reminder that you’ve got this, print out some of my free motivational posters to hang up in your classroom or even keep at your desk! Remember friend, you are absolutely amazing and your students are lucky to have you.