May 31, 2013

Reflections on a Year of Change

Today marks the last day of the school year, and my first last-day at my new school.  Nothing more depressing than a classroom full of boxes and empty of color:

This has been a year of changes, and I want to take a moment to reflect and celebrate.  This year I...
  • Was welcomed into a building with a truly positive climate...
  • Fell in love with a new grade level...
  • Worked as part of a truly well-functioning team... ((What a breath of fresh air!))
  • Implemented Quantum Learning into every part of my day...
  • Finally KIND OF figured out how to run guided math...
  • Celebrated amazing amounts of growth with my kiddos...
  • Conquered my fear of field trips, including taking a 16hr marathon trip to Springfield, IL...
  • Finished my masters! (happy dance!)...
  • Got my *spark* back and truly grew as a teacher.
Thinking back over this year, while I still feel like I kind of got screwed out of a job last year, I feel truly blessed. Last year just plain sucked--you might remember how frustrated, defeated, and exhausted I felt when I worked, and worked, and worked, only to feel like I was being sent the message that it wasn't enough.  This year was of course filled with its own challenges, as every year in teaching is, but during one of my evaluation meetings with my principal, I shared with him that I feel like myself again.  What a wonderful feeling.  While I didn't end up somewhere beautiful and new this year, I am confident that I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be.  More than ever, after this year I whole-heartedly believe that everything happens for a reason.  

My goals for next year include:
  • Figure out how to get the kiddos using WAY more technology in the classroom--I totally suck in this area
  • Figure out how to get my kids actually reading and FINISHING tons of books
  • Work independent reading conferences into my literacy block somewhere, and take data on them!
  • Keep working on guided math!!
  • Take a sign language class--I will not only have an ELL cluster next year, but I'll also have a Deaf & Hard of Hearing cluster!  (My school has the DHH program for the district.)
  • Start Girls on the Run at my school--hopefully!
I will leave you today with some "gems" from the letters I had the kiddos write to me yesterday.  I love reading the totally random things they have to say, and they can be pretty darn cute. :)
Because the ONLY reason for learning is to be smarter than friends and cousins ;)
^Note the triathlon themed artwork on the bottom--LOVE!
"I am super proud of the accomplishments.  We did great, but not as good as you did."
Didn't realize I was in a contest against the kids!!
Look closely at the detailed drawing of the projector.  I'm confused about the wavy line that connects what I assume is me to it.
:)  Love random sharing.
I'm the One and Only Miss Teacher!!  Woo!
Kid, I hope my summer looks just like this picture.

Aw thanks, I will try to keep it up!
Clearly they know that I am in desperate need of some relaxing time :)

Teachers--are you on break yet??  How are you celebrating your start to summer?  I'm celebrating the start to my summer by enjoying a much needed night out with a friend tonight, attending a marathon training clinic tomorrow, and digging deep for my last brick of tri training Sunday before the Esprit de She triathlon on June 9th.  Oh, and hopefully watching a Blackhawks WIN somewhere in there!!

What are your reflections on the year and goals for next year?


  1. Their letters are ADORABLE!!

    Enjoy relaxing!

  2. Thank goodness we have summer to regroup and refocus.

  3. LOVE the letters! We still have three weeks left of the school year, and it shows! Teachers are coming down hard on kids, kids are climbing the walls...oy! For my part, I'm just hoping that this is my last year of subbing. After four years in this economy, I'm praying that it opens up enough so that I can have my own classroom next year. I got some scary news about my favored district though...the rumor is they're going up to 38 kids in elementary upper grades and expecting a lot of combo classes in the fall. I sure hope that doesn't come to pass.

    1. 38 kids????? Ouch. When will legislators learn that 38 kids in a class is not conducive to their learning?)

      (I'm in Ontario, where we have no upper limit for class sizes for grades 4 and up, though primary classes have maximum 20)

  4. Yes, I'm commenting twice on the same post. I'm also up wayyyy too late at night.
    The link about quantum learning doesn't actually say anything about what it is. You've referred to it in the past a few times, though I've never heard about it anywhere else (maybe it's an American thing?). If you ever are in need of blog post ideas... I want to know more about what this is and how it works and how you use it!

  5. I love these!! I especially like the one of you reading under the tree going "What?!"

  6. I would like to start out by commending you on how your classroom looks! Mine looks like a hot mess still (even after being all packed up). Ugh. One of my goals for next year needs to be to be more organized. Thankfully, my school closed up shop an entire week ago! Hello Summer! I love the letters you posted. Kiddos have the best ideas/comments! And, it is always nice to hear that they think you're an awesome teacher. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Good luck at your triathlon. 8 more school days for me. I spent hours this week on report cards. I am ready for summer.

  8. I'd love to recommend a book, if you haven't already read it! It's all about technology in the classroom. I read it this year. Worth every cent! "Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing?"

    Enjoy your summer!


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