|Vol. 10, Issue 4, May 2010
Letter from Reader
I look forward to your response.
Confer with colleagues on end of year procedures, including report cards, parent teacher conferences, reorganization of students into next year’s classes and new room assignments. You may also want to meet with your immediate supervisor to reflect on and discuss your first year, your successes and the areas you would like to work on in the coming year.
Plan for your students’ summer by setting up your students for success. For example, I worked with a literacy coach to develop a summer reading program for our students. We sent home a packet with reading lists and graphic organizers; students who returned the packet with a parent’s signature in September earned a Bagel Breakfast at which students shared their favorite book in small groups. You might also send home resources from the local library, including applications for library cards, or a list of local sights for students to visit with their family.
Plan your summer. This is your opportunity to relax, regroup and rejuvenate. It will pass quickly, though, and it’s also a chance for you to get ahead of the game. Consider taking a class or two towards salary differentials or for professional development through your union or a program like CITE (Center for Integrated Teacher Education) in New York City. Try taking a class to address an area you struggled with this year, like classroom management, differentiating instruction or working with students with special needs. If you prefer to work this summer, tutoring in your community or working at a summer camp are options.
I advised in my last column that you keep a notebook with notes on how to administer the NYSESLAT; you may want at this time to make notes about changes you would like to implement in the coming year. You may include the school’s checklist of end-of-year procedures and a sketch of your classroom so you’ll be able to plan ahead next year. Add to it your own ideas of reminders of what worked this year and what did not. Be honest in your self-assessment; teaching involves a complex set of skills that is rarely mastered in one year. With some honest reflection and thoughtful planning, Year 2 will be so much easier for you!