This is the second part of the Reflect and Refresh series. Part 1 was reflecting on last year and how it went in these 4 areas - Communication, Organization, Content, and Summer Projects. Part 2 is looking forward to next year.
Communication: This is very important at all times, but at the beginning of the year it is important to create relationships and help new students and their families feel comfortable about sharing with you. Even though I won't have my own class this year, it is still important. It will also be necessary for me to maintain communication with the staff so that I can stay on top of what is happening around the school.
Organization: This summer my organization took a different emphasis. I had to pack up and empty out my classroom. I had so much stuff that it took me a couple of weeks to do so. I gave lots of my material to other teachers that are just starting out, recycled and threw away material that was too old or outdated, and brought home the rest. Then I had to sort through the material that I brought home so that I can access things easily when I need them later.
Content: I am looking forward to creating materials for my colleagues. I will still be able to work with kids while trying them out in real situations. The content will be determined by the curriculum being taught by my colleagues and by their requests for materials.
My Big Summer Project: I am hoping to develop more materials for my TPT store so that I can help to impact student learning even while retired. I am learning so much about how to improve the appearance of my products and my storefronts. It will be a big job, but I am excited to continue learning and improving.
Well, there you have it, my reflections for the new year.
I am a retired teacher now, so this year will be a bit different, but I still would like to share with you the things I do at the beginning of the year. (I will be volunteering at the school this year, but I won't have my own classroom.)
I think it is so important for students to know who the teacher is, not just as the classroom teacher that they will be working with throughout the year, but as a person who has a life outside the classroom. Whenever we can create a connection through stories and experiences, we can develop trust, caring, and positive relationships with our students. Sometimes this may take extra work, but I do feel that we can make an impact on all of our students.
Most students return to school filled with adventures and stories that they want to share with others. For some this is not always the case. I like to help them get started by sharing my summer adventures with them. Sometimes this is done with a slideshow, and sometimes by telling stories and letting them ask questions.
Every year I would also send home a brief introduction about myself and my family for the parents. I feel it is important for them to know something about you as well. They get introduced to my children, grandchildren, and my pets. They also get some information about hobbies, interests, and expectations. When special things happen in my personal life, they learn about them too.
I guess this expresses me pretty accurately. (An excerpt from my retirement speech that was given by my husband and son. This is what my son had to say.)
For many people, work and family are very much separate entities. For my mom, I believe the two are inextricably linked. I'm not saying that she always brings work home. Rather, I think family plays into her everyday work life. My mom is firm, yet fair, and she cares so much about the success and well being of her students, they become like extended family members.
Who else can say that, for a while, they thought their mom's first name was Mrs. Or who can say that they get an annual birthday serenade from a class of elementary students, who've been well briefed on your life by the way.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.