I look back on this school year and have mixed feelings about it. I would not put this year up with what I would consider my best ones. I would put this right in there with my first two or three. That is because I felt like a first year teacher all over again. The Next Generation Science Standards really threw me for a loop. I tried to implement them the best I could figure my first time through but I know I didn’t do a good job. What I did was better than before but still not where it needs to be.

So here are some thoughts on this past year:

1) Implementation of NGSS – how would I assess myself? Traditional Grade would be a D-. Standards Based Grading would be a not quite there, you have the idea but come see me for more help before you try again. Now why would I grade myself that way? Well, I get the idea. I get that the CCC’s, SEP’s and DCI’s should all work together to help students understand the content to better allow them to apply that skill set and knowledge to the Performance Expectations. I get that part. I’m struggling with what does it look like, how do I assess it, how do I manage it, how do I get the kids to start asking deeper questions. To truly get to the 3 dimensional learning that is being touted for the NGSS, I’m just not there yet.

2) Big Picture – how would I assess myself? I feel I have a pretty good handle on what the big picture of the year should look like but it came at the cost of missing quite a bit of small picture stuff. I have to work on that part quite a bit.

3) Assessment – Oh geez. Not a good job of it this year. Kind of fell flat. My assessments did not in any way shape or form meet NGSS. Scrapping them entirely and starting over. No point to worry about them anymore, putting them down is the best thing I can do for me.

4) Relationships with students – I feel I can work with and relate to the vast majority of my students. From the high flyers to the struggling students, I feel I can work with them. The student I struggle with, doesn’t matter if they are academically gifted or not, is the student who is apathetic and just doesn’t want to try. The student who refuses to try, refuses to even attempt, refuses to give an inch. I know those students have probably had so much failure and so many adults who gave up on them that they don’t want to or have become closed off to adults, I don’t know how to reach them. I try. I swear I try. It can be exhausting when I run out of ideas on what to do, what to say, what to try with them. This is a major area of growth for me.

5) Communication – could have been better, should have been better, I can do better, I will do better. Enough said.

6) Summer plan – That is the topic for my next blog.

Thanks for reading and I hope it wasn’t an awful read. Hopefully I can dig through this year, pick out the bright spots and identify the weak areas, to build a better next year. Any suggestions are welcome.

How was your year? What was your bright spot and what was your weakness? I would love to hear how you are addressing your weakness.

Have a fantastic day, week and summer!