What have been your biggest lessons this year? What things are you most proud of? What are some of the little moments that make you smile as you reflect on the year?
If you wanted the class to have one collective memory of their time together this year, what would the ‘takeaway’ be?
We teach children the process of reflection and its importance, yet we sometimes forget to do this very action ourselves when it matters the most.
Every day, in some small way, we make a difference to someone’s learning journey. What we often miss, however, is that the journey we have impacted most is our own.
So, how about pausing to reflect on what has changed most for you – teacher and learner – throughout this year. Chances are, you have undergone some serious changes in your thinking and also have had some funny, silly, emotional, challenging, frustrating and incredible moments too. Why not sit down and make a note of them so that they are etched in your mind – the lessons that WE learn as teachers and learners are the root of our own ‘takeaways’ from the year!
A great exercise to do is to get the class to draw a picture of you and label you – they can draw what your hands are for, your feet, your mouth, your eyes and so on. The younger the children, the funnier the exercise! The older the children, the more profound the labels are! I have even had children draw my eyes in the back of my head! Guess why???
Then, in return, you draw (or use a class photo if you prefer) your class and label them with words to describe them as learners. Write your funniest and favourite discoveries about them this year. It is a fantastic way of reflecting on your thoughts and looking at yourself through the lens that your children view you through.
Celebrate endings for they precede new beginnings (Chris Lockwood Huie).