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End of the Year Reflection

I think reflective practice is the heart of a growing teacher. Without reflection, we stagnate. Over time, reflection has become a state of mind for me. However, if I never write it down, I fear I’m missing deepening my understanding. Writing strengthens reflective practice. Will you take some time to write a reflection from this past year. Perhaps you just want to begin writing. On the other hand, perhaps you want more direction. This is where I am today. I need some direction, some guidance in focusing my thoughts. So I’m going to complete just a handful of statements, with the purpose of growing in my understanding and practice.

  • I learned…
  • I was stretched by….
  • I am excited about…
  • I’m beginning to realize…

I learned to trust myself. When students write every day, about meaningful topics of their choosing, they grow the most. This is something that I know in my heart, but it transferred to my head this year. I’ve learned to trust myself more, to act on my beliefs and understandings, to allow myself to try ideas based on my philosophies.

I was stretched by making the invisible visible. I worked hard to document learning and practices that are sometimes unseen. I’ve considered ways to make the messy work of growing writers beautiful. I’m learning how to document my work and make the work of process beautiful and valuable.

I am excited about the data from teachers I worked with this year that is giving another bit of proof that workshop teaching is powerful. I’m ready to say, “Did you expect something else?” when teachers come to me all smiley because their kids grew more in writing that they ever have before. I’m not an advocate for test prep materials, because I believe if kids are engaged in a solid reading and writing workshop, then they are more than prepared to succeed on a standardized test. I’m excited the results are confirming my stance.

I’m beginning to realize this job isn’t worth doing if I’m not doing it with joy and purpose. I’m in the midst of the stress. I feel it from teachers who are on the front line and from administrators who are absorbing the mandates and changes from the state. I work alongside children who are in great need. I confer with kids who are high ability and those with an IEP. I am in the thick of things, so it is not a flippant remark, believing joy is an essential part of my work. This is the most important thing I can do — be joyful and keep my focus on a defined purpose.

How about you? Will you take some time to write your reflection? (Then take minute to share it with us.)

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “End of the Year Reflection Leave a comment

  1. I’m itching to put my reflections into words now Ruth! I always enjoy reading what/how others reflect and I am always reflecting in my head. This year, however, I have a place to write and share those reflections! I think I have a blog post or two brewing…thanks for starting my writing wheels turning!


  2. I’ve been reflecting alongside those with whom I work lately, too, Ruth, & talking about next year, finding that people reflect so differently, so your prompts are helpful & possibly would have helped last week, too. I changed some of the planned ?’s as I spoke with colleagues & adjusted.

    I learned that planning ahead is good, but it helps to be resilient also when, as is said, life happens. There is always a later time to do a meeting.
    I was stretched by a big challenge in my life and knew that I could get through it by taking steps slowly & surely.
    I am excited about new ideas that I want to implement professionally for next year, have talked with some about them, & will talk to everyone else soon!
    I’m beginning to realize that I cannot be all things to all people, but need to choose sometimes. It’s a difficult realization, but also helpful.
    Thank you, Ruth!


  3. This year as I have been working on my National Board Certification for Principals I have learned that it is better to sleep on things before you make a decision, that kids are more resilient that we will ever know and that I cannot do it all…
    I was stretched by the expectations of my community that seem to bump up against the constraints of my job…not to mention the major stretch I’m feeling form the National Board expectations!
    I am excited about the growth I saw in many of our children this year -that they encouraged me to read the Hunger Games series with them, that they came to math intervention with smiles each day, and that they LOVE to share their writing with me!
    Finally, I’m begining to realize that each and every thing I do, I say or I don’t do or don’t say sends out ripples that then touches the lives of the many children that come through our doors…it’s a humbling thing!


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