Monday, June 27, 2016

rejunvenation & reflection

Ahh, summer. We've built relationships, taught lessons, assessed learning. We're "not quite burned out but crispy on the edges." Now is the time to do what you can to rejuvenate and reflect. Teachers are often relieved at the end of the year, but the end of the year is bittersweet too. You and your students have accomplished so much, and it is helpful to take stock in how the year went, and what you'd like to work on next year.

Before you get too far from the end of the school year, spend some time reflecting on the year. Some great advice is included in this article to help teachers reflect on the year. Here are some more reflection questions you could use to prompt thinking. I also love this post by Elena Aguilar about reflection.

While some times it is difficult to carve out time to reflect on the year, especially if it was a difficult one, this reflection time is well-spent. You and your students will thank you next year for making this time for yourself!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

talking about Orlando

My heart is broken over the tragedy that occurred last weekend. I have a hard time talking about this and other tragedies like it that happen all too frequently. But as educators, we are in a unique position to help students understand and process these events. Some of my hardest days of teaching include the day after Columbine. The day after 9/11. The day after Red Lake. But they were some of my most important days too.

Teaching Tolerance has an article written by a high school English teacher about Orlando. Mainly, the need for educators to allow space in the classroom for conversation. The article includes links to resources to help. Included is a "Pulse Orlando Syllabus" which includes books that link to themes related to this tragedy that might be helpful for students to read or for teachers, librarians, and parents to read with children to open conversations.

Many of you are done with school for the year, but consider bookmarking these resources. The syllabus has wider reach than just the tragedy of Orlando and can provide ideas for book recommendations in the future.

Teaching is such hard work. To teach with broken hearts is among our hardest jobs.