I'm here on this hot Chicago day to share with you the things that went well this year, and the things that are in my brain to fix for next year! Thank you, Amber, for hosting this linky party!
- Relationships with my students - Something I am proud of this year is that I think I had a good rapport with my class. We joked around a lot and got along very well for the most part. This was a big deal to me because my school is so super small and I was a little worried about being a new teacher since everyone at school is really close. But it all worked out!
- Content-area teaching - I think I was probably at my best when I was teaching Science or Social Studies. I tried really hard to make every lesson differentiated, engaging, and interesting, and I still have students talking about our space unit from the beginning of the year. When they see pictures of communities in books, I always have students who raise their hands to tell me what types of communities are in the book! It is lovely.
- Problem-solving - I don't mean in math! When we had a problem in the classroom, whether it was a procedural thing (like the way we line up for hot lunch) or some first grade lady problems, I think I did a pretty good job of solving the problem and making things better! We had classroom meeting type of things to figure out how to make everything run more smoothly. I found myself conducting lengthy discussions stemming from the fact that kids were giving each other gifts only to want them back later... which would result in tears. Our class solution was to just not bring toys to school.... what a novel concept!!!
- Differentiated reading instruction - I feel like I talk about this a lot in real life, but just to say it again - I am not a fan of my reading program. It is 100% not differentiated whatsoever. When our reading specialist came to work with my low readers, she was astounded by the level of difficulty of our text. I really don't know how to use my reading series AND actually teach the kids how to read at their level. Having to teach two scripted reading lessons a day makes it harder.... ughhhhhhhhhh.
- Classroom management - I will admit it, I am not a great classroom manager. I am going to chalk it up to being a first year teacher and not anticipating how I needed to dictate my expectations for every minute detail of my classroom. I think I assumed too much about how they'd behave. Now I know and I hope I will be more ready for next year!!
- Writing - I need to learn a better way to teach writing. I love all of the ideas I see in the blogs but I was never trained in writing workshop and I've never even seen one in real life, so I went along with our writing textbook this year. It was all right and my whole class made writing progress this year, but I want to try incorporating more writing workshop-y type of things and write WAY more next year!
Well now I am feeling like a Debbie Downer, haha! But I really do feel like I can make progress on my not-so-greats for next year!