Term time reflection: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
For many of us here in the UK this week, it's Easter break. Those two glorious weeks where you have every excuse to eat all of the bad stuff, enjoy at least 14 lie ins, and put off any marking for another ten days. We're already well into another year of teaching and by this point we're either proud as punch, or looking to drink it. We all know classroom life is hard, so taking the end of each term to reflect on what you've learnt in the past few weeks is a vital way of growing. Take just a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions – and answer honestly – we guarantee it will help you start back with a healthy, fresh outlook.
Which areas of your teaching could be more effective?
Eurgh, that dreaded question, BUT a beneficial one! It's not just the children that are learning all of the time. Be honest with yourself and identify the most important areas that you would like to work on next term. Do you know teachers that deal/handle situations and lessons in a way you would like mimic? Speak to and network with others in the same industry, swap ideas and offload your troubles. The more confident you feel in the up and coming months, the better you will perform.
Did you manage to balance both work and social life?
The one vital aspect of our job that we so regularly neglect. Every year we promise ourselves that we will get it correct, yet 9/10 we end up tired, lonely, and fed up. Sitting down and planning for the new term will help you to prioritise goals, social plans, meetings, and most importantly, down time. Think about your previous working days and if the balance is wrong, think what you can do to redress it.
What were your biggest challenges and how did you manage them?
Working in a classroom means a wide variety of challenges every.single.day. Whatever stands out for you the most when looking back, think about how you can approach these difficult situations in the future. Speak to other teachers, friends, and family, and ask how they would handle disruptive behaviour or coping with the workload. Problems shared are a problem halved and it's great to get different perspectives.
What are you most proud of?
Sometimes we overlook our strengths because we concentrate so much on our weaknesses. Remind yourself of all the fantastic things you achieved and how you managed to do it. What lessons can you take away from these and how can they be implemented with new goals when you venture back.
What will be different about the new term?
Think about all of the above and plan ahead. Are their specific changes? Do you need to concentrate on specific areas? Making points and putting them into action can always be difficult (especially when you have a billion and one things to do) however taking the time to try and achieve these will make a difference to you, your work balance, and of course your classroom. Try to remember that no goal is a silly one, what matters is that you they are clearled marked and that you’re working steadily towards them.
Do you reflect each term on your teaching? What do you feel works best for you? Tweet us your ideas at @staffroomed