April 29, 2023
Another month has gone by and most teachers are keeping count to the last day of school–seriously, just ask! (I am a 12 month teacher, so my classroom is a revolving door of new and completing students–sadly no count for me!)
This month is full of activity. Many schools are beginning their 4th quarter, the last term of the year. Which means simultaneously trying to get students to finish strong, prepare for end of year and state testing, and stay focused since brains are often beginning into shutdown mode.
Evaluations are wrapping up and end of year meetings are taking place to finalize evaluations and lock in our status for the year.
And, for much of us, at least in North America, we are also dealing with Spring and all that the season entails, like allergies and germs.
Oh, and we are also starting to think about next year, as much for our students as for us.
Conversations with students are starting to revolve around expectations, goals, transitions for their upcoming grade. Much of the curriculum is amping up in complexity–simultaneously tying the year together and preparing for the next level of skills. Some students are progressing quickly, some are struggling…some are acting like they were just dropped in and have no idea what we have been doing all year.
My favorite part of these conversations with students is that there is less focus on what to do and correction. It is beginning to talk more about the why and how, escalating to ways they can expand, and even interject a bit of themselves into their work. This is great so we are able to spend more time with the students struggling, for a variety of reasons, and help them progress and prepare for the next year.
And, if you’re lucky, they are starting to see you as a real human being–not just the crazy person in raggedy clothes they bump into at the grocery store or home improvement store when you ran out real quick, hoping not to see anyone.
If it has been a challenging year, some teachers are beginning to look at their exit strategy. Other opportunities at their school, within their district, or an entirely different career field.
For successful teachers, they may be looking at presentations of offers to advance into leadership, either from within the classroom, or at a higher level.
No matter which choice they are looking at, it can all be challenging, especially if trying to make changes discretely.
Now is also the time to begin thinking about your materials. Begin sorting out what to keep, what to part with, what you will need to replenish for next year, how you may want to structure lessons and connections for next year. A journal can help gather these thoughts and have them to refer to in the last month when supply orders and packing are on a an already truncated to do list.
So, as we wind this month down, take a breath, enjoy the last few moments of quiet and connection. Next month, the wild ride begins of testing, packing, wrapping up, and planning promotion and retentions.
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