The end of the year is a natural time to reflect back and look ahead.  It’s actually quite an empowering time for teachers.  I hear many teachers’ voices full of a renewed excitement as they talk about what they will do next year whether it will be a repeat or modified lesson.

Just the other day, I found myself in yet another one of these conversations with my fourth grade teacher peers.  We were discussing our spelling program.  Will we buy the workbooks?  How can we make spelling practice more exciting, motivating and effective?  Will we use  Should we do spelling using the First Steps method?  It was a conversation that mixed frustration with promise – but all for the betterment of our teaching and our students learning.

Another big topic of conversation, besides curriculum is room set up.  Teachers are always questioning some aspect of their room set up.  (I know I am!!)  How should I group the students? Where should I place the desks?  Where should I store these materials?  Is this the best place for these centers?  Should I switch to tables?  Should I get rid of my teacher desk to make more space?!?

And let’s face it, we have to pack everything up for the summer cleaning and then reset it in the fall.  So, questions arise about what to keep and what to trash.  Should I donate? Replace? Take it home?

I also end up finding materials that I had previously forgotten about.  This past week I found a small treasure trove of art supplies including tissue paper, googly eyes and sparkly things.  I see potential there…but now that’s going to have to be for next year!

Wrapping up the year leaves me with mixed feelings – sad to see my class move on to a new building, happy for them too, proud of what I’ve done, disappointed about missed opportunities and excited for a new year when I can start fresh revamping what I know to work and taking on new possibilities.

(Time to start a different To Do list – for the FALL)