The end of the year is near, and we often begin the process of looking back on the progress our kids have made. They have changed, grown, and evolved. They know more now than they did in August. They will leave us to enter summer with another year of learning behind them, and return in the fall ready to embrace a new year with different challenges.
As educators, have we learned along with our students? Have we grown professionally and personally since August? How are we different now than we were then? If we are not learning and evolving along with our students, it is impossible to make the largest impact we can make.
Reflective practice is necessary in order for educators to be honest with themselves as a learner. After all, the lead learner of the classroom should be learning the most. Children will teach us if we listen to them. They will push us out of our comfort zones and into a world of continuous growth.
The following is a blog posting from a teacher at Central Elementary who took hold of what her students where telling her. They guided her into new territory...far out of her comfort zone. The result was a happy classroom full of kids who have their needs met, thus making the learning environment more productive. She reflects in this post about how the process helped her realize what questions to ask herself regarding specific student behavior, and how she adpated her learning space in order to strengthen the learning community.
The blog posting below was written by Liz Savage, a first grade teacher at Central Elementary.