A New School Year…Reflection

Well, here I am sitting down to reflect on how my first couple of weeks of school have been.  All in all I would have to say that I’m satisfied with things so far.  There have definitely been ups and downs already, but that’s the beauty of this job.  The unpredictability, the unforeseen challenges, and the unexpected surprises are what makes it exciting.  I think I’m just going to list pros and cons with short explanation/reflections.  I’m guessing some things will be both pros and cons.


  • The Staff Development Days Before School Started – These were different for me this year because I held two of the breakout sessions.  One was on the  Power of Twitter as Professional Development, and the other was on getting teachers excited about participating in Instructional Rounds. I’m proud of myself for stepping up and doing this and overall I think both went well.

  • Overall Class Vibe – I had changed my desks to groups and basically had re-arranged my classroom over the summer and it seems like a positive environment for the students.  My returning students like it over the old setup.

  • Student Blogs – First time I’ve ever done it, but after looking at the first few who have set them up, it seems like they are into it.  It’s new for most of them, so I know it may be weird for some of them at first, but I think writing for an audience, instead of just writing for me will lead to better results.  I’m excited.

  • Self-Paced, Mastery Based – The students are doing things at their own pace and I am acting more like a mentor in the learning process.  I’m trying to teach them to learn how to learn.  It’s not what they are used to so I know its confusing for some at first, but in the end I think it will benefit them and help them become much better at time management.  I’ll post more about this after I get some feedback from the students.

  • Other teachers Around Me – It seems like there a lot of rejuvenated teachers in my hallway.  A lot of people are trying new things, taking risks, and have a sense of excitement.  Hopefully it is contagious and spreads throughout my entire campus.

  • 20% Time – I’m introducing this tomorrow to my classes.  I have 2 different projects that I am doing. 1 for my juniors and 1 for the sophomores. The juniors are doing a community based project in groups. The goal is to get them to do something that benefits the community.  The sophomores are doing more of a passion-based project.  I will then flip for the second semester.  I will post more about this in the future, but I’m really excited for this.

  • My Passion – It is stronger than ever and I have high hopes and expectations.


  • The Staff Development Days Before School Started – I have some major issues as to how these were setup and run, which is why I signed up for the staff development committee that same day.  Next time it will actually be a day full of DEVELOPMENT.

  • Seating Arrangements – The groups of 4 are different for me and at times classroom management has been more difficult.  I dont need all eyes on me for that much time with the way my class is run, but when I need it, it has been a bit more frustrating this year.  Students are facing each other and naturally that leads to more conversation.  Most times that will be encouraged. Sometimes it is not.

  • Self-Paced, Mastery Based – Some kids are moving very rapidly and some aren’t.  Defining mastery and checking for it will be the difficult part of this format.  Assigning the appropriate amount of classtime to satisfy most students may be difficult and will be a trial and error process these first couple of months.

  • My Passion – It is stronger than ever and I have high hopes and expectations. I am envisioning these kids doing great things and being super successful.  Sometimes I feel naive though.  I know some students will fall short of my expectations, and I’m ok with that…but maybe I’m not.  I want them all to be great and have a life-changing year.  Is that possible?