Things I wanted to start:
- Using Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces - I still have work to do on this one, but overall I am pleased with my usage of VNPS. Last summer, I moved around some things in my room to open up all of my whiteboards for student use as well as having my father-in-law cut some large boards out of shower board for me. I did not use them as well as I could have in AP Stat, but I LOVED using whiteboards in Geometry. I ended up not using the big boards as much as I thought I would and instead focused on using individual whiteboards. Having these whiteboards available at ALL times really was a game changer for my classroom.
- Asking Better Questions - Umm, yeah, I'll take the big L on this one as it is still on my "I need to try that" list. I need to focus more on this in my summer reading, so shoot me any suggestions you have!
- Being More Involved in the MTBoS - I haven't been quite as involved in Twitter as I would like, but I am pleased to report that I have blogged over 40 times this school year, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me!
Things I wanted to stop:
- Rescuing my students - I would like to say this was a success, but it wasn't. With the use of whiteboarding, it was easier to monitor my students and watch their productive struggle, but I need to work on this - A LOT! I don't even know where to begin to be honest... so many of my students would rather sit and stare at a blank page than even attempt a problem, even if it is the exact same problem as an example. How do I move past this so we can tackle the rich problems that I really want to tackle?
- Eating lunch in my room - Yeah, another L for me. My lunch period is with my plan period, so I often forego lunch to work in my room. I have made it down to the lounge more this year than last year, even if it was just to get coffee :)
Things I wanted to continue:
- Formative Assessment - I think FA is one of those goals that can never be fully met, but I was able to add several new strategies to my toolkit and I tried to focus on "What did I teach? What did they learn?" as a daily mantra. This summer, I will continue to work on fine-tuning these strategies as I am supposed to present about FA to our new district staff in August.
- Personal Health - I've had a few setbacks due to poor eating habits, BUT, I met my 2017 exercise goal with #fitbos17 and I have met EVERY monthly goal so far in 2018! Even during the yucky cold winter months, I still pushed myself to get out and exercise - mainly because of my "boyfriend" :) (This is a joke from hubby - I have an 81 year old neighbor man that I met last summer while he was walking his dog, his wife had just been placed in a nursing facility at the time and he was lonely for conversation. Now, it's one of the highlights of my day!)
- High Five Fridays - This continues to be one of my favorite ways to connect with my students. I even have students in the hallway that aren't in my classes giving me high fives or telling me "Happy Friday!" On my end-of-year survey, a few of the students mentioned how much they looked forward to Fridays just for the High Five.
Overall, I'm pleased with the progress I made this year. For 20 years, I have struggled with balancing my personal and professional life and I think I found a good balance this year. I'm still a "work in progress" and I have things to work on for next year, but to be honest, when the time comes that I no longer thing I have room to grow, then it's time for me to retire / leave the profession.
Many thanks to my students this year that helped me grow, pushed me to try new things, and put up with my craziness when things didn't go as planned. I couldn't ask for a better group of kiddos to work with every day :)