Congratulations, you did it! We all made it through another year and are now on our much deserved summer vacation. This calls for a celebration! Yesterday at my school’s final PA day of the year, we were asked to reflect and share with our table-top the celebrations of the year. Things that have happened that we can positively reflect on. After everyone shared in the small groups, we were asked to share with our entire staff. It’s funny that with 10-12 different table groups, almost everyone shared the same general ideas. I am sure as you read this, hopefully you will also be able to share in the same celebrations.
Reasons to celebrate the 2022-2023 school year:
- Student growth- the common idea amongst us all was that students grew from September to June. Not only with their reading, writing, etc. but their character developed. Behaviours settled down and students matured as the year went on. We were all able to identify a specific student that amazed us, specifically with their personal growth. I shared about a student who found it challenging to come to school last school year but thrived this year in a new classroom environment. Tears came to my eyes sharing about how proud I am of this student as his personal growth inspired me in so many ways.
- Writing- teachers shared about how their students could only write a few words at the beginning of the year but by the end, were writing stories by the end of a school day. I can also relate to this as I have so many students who doubled their writing samples by the end of June.
- Reading- our school’s plan this year was small group guided instruction and we especially focused on this in our language classrooms. Many of us noticed the impact this had on our students, focusing on phonics really allowed our students to grow as readers. Many of the primary teachers worked with programs that helped their students read. They noticed large gains and were so excited to share the success that the reading specialist and these programs helped them to achieve. We are continuing with this goal next year and I look forward to starting small reading groups in September. My class especially amazed me with their reading abilities, decoding at grade level and making connections to what they read.
- Making good memories- with the year having minimal disruptions, students had a hard time picking just one memory to share that was their favourite. Opportunities were available again for students to make memories and they were all so excited to share during the last few days of school. When my own students shared this was their favourite year of school, I was so happy to hear! I look forward to creating new memories in September.
- Feeling like a family- something that I am personally celebrating is that feeling of togetherness that every educator hopes to achieve with their class. By the end of June, I can fully look back on the year and say we achieved it. With respect, random groupings, positive affirmations and weekly celebrations, I know that everyone felt that our class was a family. This feeling made the final bell especially hard to hear on the last day of school. However, I look forward to next year and hope to achieve that same feeling again.
As we reflect on our successes from the year, they are probably some things we wish to “leave behind”. Whether it be a project, a mindset or a seating plan style that we didn’t quite like, it’s important that we don’t dwell on the negative, but look at the positives. I encourage you all to make a list of things that you want to celebrate from this year and think about it during your much deserved summer break. See you in September!