It's my What Week. You know, that time of year when things are winding down and we begin to think forward to the next school year? It's my time to question myself: What will I do differently? What worked? What do I need to be more consistent in doing? What do I need to abandon? What week for me is a time of introspection and reflection, of recognizing fly highs and flops, of readjusting and reconsidering what I do in the classroom. What Week (WW) forces me to rethink the past so I can shape the future.
I may be an anomaly, with my WW. Colleagues are frenetically finishing finals and figuring out grades. I'm doing the same but I'm also considering the future. Looking ahead to next year as I reevaluate the past. And honestly, I'm not all that crazy about what I see in the rear view mirror.
Some things I tried worked better than anticipated while others fizzled like a dud firecracker. Some things I did a good job of following through and forging through groans while others withered under those protests. Honestly evaluating, I'd say there seemed to be more withering than normal. But maybe it's just me.
The act of reflection as a teacher, in my opinion, is just as vital as preparing lesson plans. If not more so. Unless I evaluate what I've done and why I've approached things as I have, neither my students nor I will learn anything. Reflection is like a balm for my soul. It allows me to consider my strategies and my motives behind my strategies--know what I did and why I did it.
What Week usually morphs into What If? at the end of the week. Knowing what worked and what didn't usually leads to new ideas. Talking to coworkers and reading professional books all stimulate new ideas. Twitter chats are over, so I look to new sources for inspiration. I know some teachers are looking forward to being done and relaxing in the summer, as do I, but there's something about thinking about the past year and getting excited for the next one to come.
Some may think I'm crazy, but I'll continue my practice of What Week and What If? reflections during the last week of school. It prepares me to launch into the summer months and let ideas simmer, readying me for August when I start back into the throes of classroom planning.
What Week works for me. It makes all the difference.