The academic year is either winding down or over for most of us. I’ve always believed that we can’t truly move forward without looking back, so once the semester ends and I’ve caught my breath, I always make it a point to reflect on all that’s happened, what I’ve learned, and how I’ve grown over the academic year.
The questions I ask myself vary from year to year, but here is a list of the ones I reflected on this time around.
1. If I was a student, how would I describe my experience in my classroom?
2. Was I ever disrespectful or sarcastic with a student?
3. If so, did I speak to this student and apologize?
4. Did I refer to the classroom as our classroom or my classroom?
5. What are 10 things students taught me this year?
6. What are 10 things I learned from my colleagues this year?
7. How did I inspire my colleagues this year?
8. Did my students have an “experience” or did they simply “take a class?”
9. Did I listen to my students? Or did I just hear them?
10. Did I regularly attend my students’ after-school events? Did I follow-up with these students and ask them about the event?
11. Did I ever take things personally?
12. Was I flexible and did I embrace unexpected opportunities to try something new when what I’d planned clearly wasn’t working?
13. Did I engage in gossip about another teacher, administrator, or student?
14. Did I successfully foster an open, creative and collaborative environment?
15. Did students view the classroom as a safe space?
16. Was the technology we used superfluous? Or did it actually enhance the learning experience?
17. Did my students leave the classroom as better students and better people?
18. Did I brag about my students to my colleagues?
19. Did I ever complain about my students to my colleagues?
20. Did I build meaningful relationships with parents?
21. Did the students and I laugh—and laugh often?
22. Did I apologize to students when I was wrong?
23. How many times did I observe my colleagues teaching? What did I learn from these experiences?
24. How did I challenge students to take control of their own learning experience?
25. Was I consistent without being inflexible?