Come the end of the academic year, teachers are often thinking ahead to their summer holiday and the school year to come. What are they going to do the same? What are they going to do different? What are they going to do better? What will the class be like? Here in the northern hemisphere, many of us are at this point.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on my school year now that it is coming to a close. In August, if you told me that I would have set up an education blog I would’ve probably laughed and changed the subject very quickly. However, here I am blogging about education. It has been an interesting year of professional growth for me. I have:

  • Better got to grips with what inquiry based learning really is and what it looks like in the classroom.
  • Been introduced to the idea of genuinely honouring students agency in the classroom.
  • Begun to explore approaches to giving the students greater ownership of their learning.
  • Almost completed my Level 1 International School Leadership Certificate with ISL and the Ontario Principals’ Council.
  • Learnt about the power of Twitter for professional development.

I am already thinking about how I will tweak my approaches next year and I am looking forward to setting up a positive collaborative working relationship with my new year group partner (this year I was the only Year 5 class). My new group of students have been taught using the Mantle of the Expert approach for the last two years and I will need to look to accommodate their preference for this learning style into my approach to facilitating the students learning. It is going to be an interesting challenge and I am thinking about how I will support students to run their own Mantle mini-workshops for their colleagues.

Next academic year, I will also be looking to enact the leadership project I had designed this year for my leadership qualification. The focus will be on improving reading across the primary section of my school and I will be blogging about the process throughout the next academic year. I am looking forward to this and applying my previous leadership experience to a new setting and a new area of the curriculum for me.

Finally, I have been using Google Drive with my students for the last 4 years. However, I also know there is some functionality I have not yet fully utilised and so I will begin the process of obtaining my Google Educator badges. It is already looking like a busy year to come and that is before the unexpected curve balls are added to the mix. I better make sure I make the most of enjoying a restful summer holiday!

What are your plans going to be for the new academic year? What will you keep the same? What will you do differently? What professional lines of inquiry will you follow? Please leave your comments in the box below.

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