10 Questions for Reflecting & Recharging
Reflecting and recharging are vital to teacher growth and sanity! When you sit back and review your annual accomplishments and areas for growth you learn about more than what any data can quantify.
Benefits of Reflecting:
- Ability to move forward with a plan in place
- Refine your observation skills
- Tool for designing your professional development
- Confront challenges that occurred with short-term and long-term solutions
- Clarifying professional accomplishments builds self-esteem
- Foundation for a plan for the next school year is set into motion
- A clear mind equals time for Recharging and CELEBRATION!!
First, find a quiet place to relax and have some thinking time. While answering the questions, try to record your initial thoughts that pop into your mind. Don’t overthink!
Once you reflect upon what went well, consider possible areas of needs. Then, it will be much easier to set your goals.
Question#1 Thinking about this school year, what worked well? Why?
Which units, lessons or activities went really well? Were there times when you felt like all of the kids were really connecting to the lesson and achieved success? What kept your students most engaged? Why did it work so well?
With attention to your successes, capture the smooth days. The days where you felt like there was nothing better than being a teacher!
Question #2 Thinking about this school year, what was your biggest struggle? Why?
What were some of your struggles? Did you have lessons/units that may have flopped? Were there any standards that you felt like did not solidify in the minds of your students? Why was it a struggle this year?
Now you need to capture some of the frustrating times when you wish you would have done it a different way. Get it out and rethink your strategy.
Question #3 In what area did your students improve the most? Why?
Thinking about your student data, what were their successes? Did you see stronger growth in reading comprehension or fluency? How about vocabulary? Why do you feel this was most improved?
As a school, you can judge the successes and failures by looking at the end of the year state test data. When it comes to your own class, you have more observable data. Include that when you are reflecting.
Question #4 How did you maintain a positive culture for learning?
What was the energy level like? How did your passion for teaching resonate? Was there something in particular that you did to create a culture for learning? What was it? How did students hold themselves accountable for their learning?
Keep in mind, the tone of the class is set by you. The level of inquiry is set by you. Their love of reading starts with your love of reading.
Question #5 What was your favorite part of teaching this year?
Hopefully, this is a tough question for you because there were so many phenomenal things going on! What makes you anxious to get started on your plans for next year?
Remind yourself about all of the amazing things that tugged at your heart this year.
Question #6 How did you meet your short-term goals? Long-term goals?
Referring back to the goals that you set for at the beginning of this past year, how did you do? How did you meet those goals? Which goals do you need to carry over into next year? Were there specific goals that you exceeded?
Think about your own productivity. Yet another way to focus on your strengths. The goals you did not meet are the ones you may want to revisit for next year. Therefore, these goals may need to be tweaked first. Think about why you were not able to meet them. Later, you can adjust your plans to fit your school goals for next year.
Question #7 What did you learn about yourself as a teacher this year?
Where there any breakthroughs that you experienced? Anything unexpected? WOW moments?
With this in mind, how would you describe yourself as a teacher?
You are courageous for being a teacher in this day and time! Seriously, pat yourself on your back!
With constant budget cuts, federal and state, you are expected to do more with less resources. Remind yourself how amazing you are!
Question #8 What will be your focus area for improvement next year?
Referring to more than your curriculum needs, where would you like to see improvement? Look at the big picture.
When reflecting here, think about all of the needs in your classroom. This could be anything from your classroom management to something gained from an evaluation.
Question #9 What is your teaching priority for next year?
Think about all of the resources available to you. How can you use them to maximize the learning experience for your students?
In order to improve your craft, what professional development will be most useful for you?
Question #10 What are your professional plans for the summer?
What is on your summer reading list? Are there books that were recommended to you that you just didn’t have the time to read? Only pick a few so that you do not add more pressure on yourself. Remember, it is the time to rejuvenate and maybe reboot! Is there a PD you enrolled in? How about a conference you may be attending? The International Literacy Association Conference is in Orlando in July.
The sky is the limit! This is your time!
It comes down to this…
You have put your blood, sweat and tears into your teaching practice this year. Taking time to reflect will make you a better observer. Reflecting will also prepare you to plan for your next accomplishments.
Rejuvenate in order to start fresh with energy and a positive outlook. You are an inspiration to all of those little lives you touch!
After reflecting, take time to RECHARGE!
Go on a cruise! First thing to remember, you are on a break!!
Read a few books that are NOT PROFESSIONAL!! You have got to love a Harlequin!
If you can, plan some brief getaways!
Explore the outside with your family! There IS a world outside of your classroom!
Keep yourself motivated and grounded by printing and laminating these Growth Mindset Statements. Make a couple of copies to post at home and at school. Keep one in your plan book!
(affiliate link that I will earn a small profit from if you make a purchase)
If you would like to capture your “Happy Thoughts” throughout the year and get a little inspiration along the way, I recommend this journal. You can use it to capture your reflections throughout the year. I also like that it is filled with inspirational quotes. It would be a great gift, too!
After reflecting, PLEASE share some of your answers in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!