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An EOY Reflection With a Twist

June 18, 2015 No Comments

As I finish up year four in the classroom, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting and questioning.  Surprisingly or maybe not, my reflecting hasn’t been about my SGO scores or my classroom evaluations.  But rather about my students and how much or how little I influenced them this year.  My questions are ALL about my kids.  Was I truly a good teacher this year? Was I effective? Did I build close relationships with my kids that they feel comfortable enough around me?  Did I gain their trust?  Was I silly enough?  And surprisingly the biggest one for me, was I myself enough? 
That might sound like a silly thing to ask yourself as a teacher.  But, I’ve always believed that they only way for my students to succeed and feel comfortable was for them to fully know their teacher and what I’m all about.  With the mounting stress that all teachers are feeling, I wasn’t sure that this year I succeeded in that goal {insert brutal honesty here}
In order to answer some of these questions for myself and really reflect on my year, I decided to sit back and try and listen to my first graders during this last week of school.  I wanted to hear what they were talking about with their friends, what excited them about first grade, and what would they remember.

All teachers know that the end of the year wrap-up is well, INSANE, but I have been really trying to sit back and enjoy these little ones while I still have them in my classroom.  Despite the stress and the absolute disaster that is my back table at the moment, these conversations have been eye opening and oh so entertaining.
Here are some scenes from the last week of first grade in room 11:
1.  “Mrs. Yannuzzi, I hope I’m in __________’s class next year, that way I can be right next door to you and come visit!”

2.  “Mrs. Yannuzzi *Jack is talking to me!  He’s being so funny!”
One of my little girls said to me about a little boy in our class who is fairly nonverbal.  We’ve all been working on social skills and building friendships with everyone so much this year.

3.  Wohhhhhh look at my writing from the beginning of the year!  That’s crazy!

4.   “Mrs. Yannuzzi, Matthew should get a brag tag for being a sweet friend because he complimented my work and I didn’t even ask him to!”

5.  “Mrs. Yannuzzi, can Emily and I share our book that we wrote during recess to the class?  I think everyone would really like it.”

6.  “See the little girl in the back of the video?  She’s the best hula hooper.  So I asked her to be my back-up dancer in my music video.”

7.  “I like to stay with my mother.  But, not when I’m at school.  When, I’m at school I’m comfortable and happy.  But, not at CCD.  I don’t like CCD and want to be with my mom.  I’m what my mom calls a momma’s boy.”

8.  “Yesterday Mrs. Yannuzzi, you forgot your bracelets and so did I.  Today we’re both wearing them.  That’s why we’re bracelet twins.”

9.  “This is the BEST DAY EVER!”
During beach day.  All it takes is no shoes, no desks, no problems!

10.  “Is it time to pack up already? Woh the day went SO fast!”

11.  “I don’t think I’m going to second grade.  My mom said I don’t have to.  I told her there’s more work to be done!”

12.  “Mrs. Yannuzzi I went to Hoboken this weekend and asked my mom to take me to your favorite ice cream store!  We had 16 HANDLES!  You were right it was so good!  Next time you’ll have to come.”

13.  “Let’s read another Elephant and Piggie book!  They’re the funniest characters!”

14.  “Yesssssss!  Let’s play that game again!”

  15.  “Mrs. Yannuzzi, come see what I wrote in my memory book about you!  See it says I love you.”
So what have I learned?  I learned that my students feel comfortable and safe at school.  I learned that they cherish their friendships and are learning to share with and compliment each other.  I learned that they like to be silly and can be silly with me.  I learned that they have loved first grade.  I’m pretty sure my students answered all of my questions that I may have had about this school year.  Note to self, listen more talk less!  I learned so much about my class just from listening, I need to keep that in mind for next year.
With only a few days of first grade left, I’m looking forward to showing them how much they have meant to me and how they will be missed!  How do you like to reflect on the school year?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by! 

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Hi! I’m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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