2016, seems like we were just getting started…

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It’s too late. Whatever you wanted to share or teach in the classroom will have to wait until next year. I’d have liked a little more time. Was this the case for you too? Fortunately, a return date is just around the corner. Conversely, time away from routines can also restore mind, body, and spirit.

A break like this provides me with time to think about teaching and other pursuits. Usually, it’s catching up with family, over-caffeinating, reading, and blogging. With the school year already 40% complete, our time off serves as both restorative opportunity and cathartic challenge.

This December’s end, I wanted to reflect like it’s June. Think of it as part of my own personal development. I am trying to make sense of things now – in the moment. A resolution, pep talk, or plan of action if you please. This means there are a lot of questions to which the answers are either too simple, or underdeveloped.

Did I miss something? Could I have been more supportive? Did I make the curriculum come alive with relevance for my students? Did they have enough challenge, motivation, and opportunity to learn? Did I prepare enough? Did I assess too little? Too much? Did I give my students opportunity to succeed? Was I supportive to my colleagues? Did I give everything I could? Was my work-life balance maintained?

I am sure the answer to each one of the above questions could be yes. Even the one about work-life balance.

Now what?

Questions like these pervade my thoughts. I’m cannot be alone as a reflective practitioner in our profession. So how do you reflect at this time of the year? How are you de-stressing? Are you able to turn off your teacher brain for 2 weeks? How about checking your email or assessing student work?

Do you think that this changes over a career in education? After 8 years in the classroom, I am trying to see each season with fresh eyes, but still struggle with disconnecting entirely. Saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017 will see me sharing, reflecting, learning, and unlearning as part of a process crucial to a professional pursuit of progress. How about you?

Keep the conversation going. Please share, respond, or retort.
I love hearing about your journey and heart for the art of education.

Happy 2017.



The Author

Will Gourley

Grade 5 lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, divergent, and modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at https://escheweducationalist.wordpress.com/

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