"When we take the time to look back at what we have done in the past, look at what we are doing now, and look ahead to the changes we hope to see in the future, we make better, more deliberate decisions." -Sharon Thomas writes in Partnership Principle 5: Reflection.
As I look back at this school year, I feel a lot of emotions. Emotions that are happy and excited, but also some that are frustrated and let down. I think teachers feel a range of emotions quite frequently and it's totally normal. But this year- this year was different.
This year, we were coming back from Covid-19. This year, learning loss was felt tremendously and we still had teachers and students out sick from getting Covid which equaled a lot of subbing. Some subbed more than others and some could have regular uninterrupted class time.
No matter how much teachers and coaches got to do their jobs this year, it's definitely important to reflect on the school year so that when summer comes to a close, we know what we might want to focus on, what we might want to try, and what we might want to retire for next year.
Here are some teacher reflection questions for those who serve multilingual learners:
1. How did my students grow this year? What language domains did they show growth with in informal assessments and formal assessments?
2. Reflecting on my instruction, are there certain strategies that I can tie to that growth? Was there a strategy I focused on this past year that I didn't in years before?
3. Did my lessons allow my students to SWiRL (speak, write, interact, read, and listen) each day? How did I integrate academic language into student's speaking and writing?
4. Did my faculty feel prepared and comfortable supporting our MLLs and ELLs in the building? How can I support them better next year?
5. Does my administration support language learners? Do they recognize that strategies for multilingual learners help all students? How can I shift thinking if not?
Once we journal, ponder, or talk out these questions, we can then make a plan for next year. Maybe some of you have already started this planning, and that's great! If you haven't, don't stress- enjoy the summer! When it gets closer to the beginning of the school year, pull these questions back out and make a plan.
Find out who your new students are, what their English proficiency levels are, some supports and strategies that you might use, and start planning! Also think about how you want to approach your colleagues and admin. Do you want to plan to meet with them during PLCs? Do you want to plan a back to school professional development all on the basics of serving multilingual learners? I have a free PD slide deck for you here if you do!
Continue reflecting in this End of the School Year Teacher Journal and check back on the blog soon because this summer is all about getting prepared for the year to come, step by step! Can't wait to keep learning with you!
Free MLL Professional Development Slide Deck sneak peak below! Get it here!
I support middle and high school teachers through monthly lesson plans, coaching, and guest speaker offerings in our Secondary ESL Teacher Membership.