Wednesday, April 19, 2017

While You Have Time

I always dreaded Testing Season. All the crazy scheduling. All the top secret, CIA-style agreements to secrecy.  All that extra time when some kids are testing and the bells have been held and the kids YOU have aren’t testing. All the uneven scheduling when you see your third period seven times in a week but you haven’t seen fifth period in 6 days.

All that weird silence. (Schools aren’t normally silent. It’s weird when they are.)

All that down time when you’re proctoring and not allowed to be on your computer, or grading papers, or on your phone, or having conversations, or looking at student work.

When do teachers ever have weird down time like that?

While you’re proctoring a million tests this week/month and you’re stuck with the down time where you can’t do anything but get your steps in while you circle the room for the hundredth time ...  

It’s actually a good time for reflection.

You’re stuck in a room with nothing else to do, maybe you can reflect on your year.

You can just ponder on your own, or maybe you can pull off a note to yourself on a sticky note or something during down time.

Here are some questions to reflect on during your down time. Pick one or two or all of them. Hey. I don’t judge!

Please DON’T turn in your answers, although feel free to discuss them with me/your colleague/your significant other/your AP/your neighbor/your pet.

14 Reflection Questions For Teachers

  1. What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of?
  2. What is something you tried in your classroom this year for the first time? How did it go?
  3. What is something you found particularly frustrating this year?
  4. Which student in your class do you think showed the most improvement? Why do you think this student did so well?
  5. What is something you would change about this year if you could?
  6. What is one way that you grew professionally this year?
  7. Who amongst your colleagues was the most helpful to you?
  8. What has caused you the most stress this year?
  9. When was a time this year that you felt joyful and/or inspired about the work that you do?
  10. What do you hope your students remember most about you as a teacher?
  11. In what ways were you helpful to your colleagues this year?
  12. What was the biggest mistake you made this year? How can you avoid making the same mistake in the future?
  13. What is something you did this year that went better than you thought it would?
  14. In what ways did you change the lives of your students this year?
Just ponder. And maybe jot down a note or two to yourself when you get a sec.
It’s been a heck of a year. Let’s think about it while we still have time, before we’re all at the beach.
How has your year gone? As always, I love to hear from you! Email me at

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