Congratulations! You made it to the end of the school year. Whether you sailed across the finish line or limped over it, you should be proud of the work you accomplished with your students.
Before you completely check out for summer, try these eight action items that will help you reflect, unwind, and even get a little bit of prep done before (I’m going to say it) back to school. Then when August does roll around, your gigantic to-do list will already have a few items crossed off.
1. Grab a notebook and reflect on what went really well this year.
I recommend having an entire notebook dedicated to reflection and teaching ideas. I personally use the note pages in my teacher planner to keep track of things that worked and didn’t work each month.
Try to list at least five things that were amazing this school year. A specific lesson? A book you read? A student breakthrough? Or maybe you accomplished a personal goal, like packing lunch every day or setting your clothes out at night. Big or small, your successes should go on the list.
2. Ask yourself what you want to focus on improving next year.
Was there a lesson or story you really wanted to teach but didn’t get a chance to? A specific strategy you wanted to try out with your students? A skill or content you want to learn more about? Maybe it’s about gaining more work-life balance or getting more sleep. Or developing soft skills, like communicating better with parents or keeping a cool head in a student power struggle. Add it to the list.