Tuesday, June 2, 2015

End of the Year Reflection

I have spent the last few months writing for National Board about being an accomplished teacher. I have written and reflected and gathered evidence but nothing says more about how "accomplished" I am than for a kid to say, "I love coming to math. Every day I can't wait to come to your room!" And that is why every teacher goes straight from packing up our room to thinking about the next year. I feel like I was just putting things up on the wall and now I am taking them down. I know we all feel this way!

There is no bigger compliment than for a kid to say "keep doing creative math work." That is why we spend the summer reflecting on what we are going to change and keep. What new thing is going to inspire us? What will we find on Pinterest that *must* go in our rooms next year!? This year I had my kids help me reflect. I gave them this survey the last week of school. It came straight from Math=Love because she is awesome! I learned a lot from reading what my kids thought I should KEEP, CHANGE, START, STOP. It amazed me that they could remember things we did on the first day of school. Another reminder that the first few days really do set the tone for the rest of the year.

The first section was KEEP. There were a few things lots of kids said. I tried to 'Ctrl c and v' the duplicates so you could get the gist. The biggest thing was to "keep doing art." I love that they think math is art! I love that they saw my love for math and creative things. I hope that I have given them the confidence to do the same. Pop Tarts! Well, what 8th grader wouldn't want to keep Pop Tarts! There were lots who said keep the interactive notebooks. That makes me happy! 
Things to CHANGE were obviously the temperature and assigned seats. They all complain about how cold it is in my room and that they hate assigned seats. I am not willing to budge on either! Thirty 8th graders smooshed in my room after P.E. is stinky, it needs to be cold to counteract the smells! 

I clearly need to START slowing down. Kids tell me this every year and I try. Even when I think I am going slow, they say I am not. I have one student who will act like me and work problems on the board, really fast! You learn a lot about yourself through the eyes of middle schoolers! 

STOP....being short! I love them! 

In my dreamy classroom, I wouldn't have a gigormous amount of standards to cover each quarter...making it easy to slow down and take our time on each one! But in the real world, the pressure to get all of them covered is real! Even so, slowing down is clearly something I need to work on for my kiddos! 

Year 7 is in the books and I am so ready to start my summer! Hope you have your classrooms packed up and are ready for sunshine too! 

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