As the school year winds down, teachers are spending as much time reflecting on the past year as they are thinking about a summer filled with sit-down lunches, obligation-free evenings and weekends, and restful nights without dreaming about school.
Throughout the year teachers reflect continuously on particular interactions with students, a given lesson, or even a whole school day because they realize it is the key to improving their practice. At the end of the year, however, teachers should take time reflect on how things went overall to set themselves and their students up for success next year. Without a framework to guide teachers, reflecting on the entire school year can easily turn into spiraling self-talk with few results other than "this was the worst year ever" or "this was the best year ever." Nevertheless, teachers can engage in focused reflection that will truly help them to better meet the needs of the kids they will meet in September.