Summer… a time to relax and recharge as we get ready for the next school year! I try and use my summer to reflect over the past year. Summer is a great time to celebrate your victories- you know, the ideas and strategies that you implemented that made you feel like a rock star! Then there are also the ideas and strategies that you were certain would be a success when in fact they failed.
Instead of letting myself get too down or upset over my failures, I try and take a critical look at them. First, did I do my best in explaining what I was trying to accomplish to my students? Secondly, was this idea just not a good fit for this particular class but it could work in the future? Or lastly, was this just an idea that was good in theory but not in reality? (Let’s face it, we have all had those.) Once I make the decision as to where the strategy falls, I think about how I can revamp it so that next time, it will be more successful for my students.
Take time to look at the highs that you had in your classroom this past year as well. I use the same critical eye to evaluate those ideas and to see what I need to change or improve. Every time I do an activity or I try a new strategy for teaching a concept, I can always think of ways that I could have done it differently.
Most importantly, take time to rest. Teaching is an all-consuming occupation. Your heart and mind need time to rest and replenish before you take on the next year because very soon, there will be new kiddos waiting to meet their teacher!