Monday, May 30, 2016

Looking Back in Order to Move Forward

Principal ponderings...
When I looked up the definition of reflection, I liked this simple one that I found: serious thought or consideration.  As this school year quickly winds down, I can't help but start thinking about what will happen next year.  But I need to do like the billboard picture above says...stop and think.  Just like we ask students to do.  Just like I ask teachers to do.  I need to stop and reflect on what I have learned this year.  I actually came across a study from the Harvard Business School that discusses how reflection is actually the most important part of the learning process. Reflecting on what we have learned has been proven to make us more productive.  I am always talking with teachers about how we want continuous improvement and growth for our students.  And I have had many discussions with teachers about how they should strive for continuous improvement in their teaching practice.  As a principal, I know I want and need to continuously improve.  In order for that to happen...I am going to take time to stop and think reflect.

Before we can look ahead and move forward, we must look back.  Here are some guiding questions to help you reflect on your year:

What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

What is something you tried in your classroom for the first time?  How did it go?

What is one way that you grew professionally this year?

Which of your colleagues has been the most helpful to you this year?  Have you let them know how much you appreciate them?

How have you helped your colleagues this year?

What do you hope your students remember most about you as a teacher?

Which of your students showed the most growth this year?  Why do you think this student did so well?

Which of your students was the most challenging?  Why?

What has caused you the most stress this year?

What has brought you joy this year?

What was the most valuable thing you learned this year?

What got you out of bed this morning and ready to work with kids today?

We have our final staff meeting of the year this Wednesday.  Technically, there is a staff meeting scheduled for June 15...after field day...the last week of school...nope, not happening!  We will be coming together in small groups at this week's staff meeting to do some reflecting.  While I hope you take time over the next few weeks to think about answers to all of the above questions, for Wednesday we will focus on only 3 questions:

1. What are you most proud of this school year?

2. What areas of focus will you take into the 2016-2017 school year to guide your professional growth?

3. How will you be mindful over summer break and rejuvenate yourself?

Currently reading:
All I have been reading for the past week is evaluations, artifacts and reflections.  Looking forward to getting back into my pleasure and professional reading.  My to-be-read piles are piling up!

Events this week:
Monday - Happy Memorial Day!  No School
Tuesday - Grade 3 chorus practice 9:30-11, Ed Eval Working Group Meeting in pm
Wednesday - Language Acquisition Team Meeting @ 8:30, 4th grade library trip, Grade 3 School Show 1:30-2:10, Kindergarten chorus practice @ 2:25, Final Staff Meeting
Thursday - Curriculum Half Day, dismissal @ 12:15, 4th grade library trip, Grade 3 Chorus Concert @ 7:00
Friday - Para Meeting @ 9:00, Middle School Principal visits 4th graders @ 1:00 in the cafeteria, Kindergarten chorus practice @ 2:25

Great Things I Noticed Last Week:

  • I heard that 4th graders had successful canoe trips throughout the week.  3rd grade had a good trip to Plimoth Plantation on Thursday.
  • We got to meet the future of FloRo!  Thanks to staff who helped do kindergarten screening at Prescott on Wednesday and Thursday. 
  • A special thank you to our Student Council for organizing a Memorial Day Assembly to teach us about the meaning behind the holiday.  We were fortunate to have one of our parents, Fred Corriea, a Purple Heart recipient, speak about his service in the Marine Corps and the meaning of Memorial Day and acknowledge a few Groton community members who lost their lives in combat.

Check it out:
Check out this great post that our very own Dianna Fulreader wrote for the MESPA blog! :

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