ILASCD Journal

Summer 2019

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stronger. In end-of-year evaluation meetings, provide teachers with space to highlight their strengths as well as reflect on challenges they experienced. The dialogue should be less about observation ratings and more about how these learning experiences will inform future practice. Reframe the End-of-Year Check-Out Process Students know the last week of school routine—take final exams, clean out lockers, and turn in textbooks. They watch as their classrooms transform from colorful and welcoming learning environments to stark—almost clinical— rows of tables and chairs. Teachers, too, work through their end-of-year checklists of curriculum inventories, classroom clean up, grade submission, and turning in keys. While these processes need to take place, reframe the end-of-year routine so that these procedures are a side show and not the main act. Imagine if teachers and students collectively used this time to read books that inspired them and set long-term and short-term goals that challenged them. What might it look like if we slowed down and took time for reflection rather than rushing to pack up and push on? What if end-of-year checklists included items such as "greatest learning accomplishment," "favorite read," and "next big leap"? Open a Window when You Close the Door It is normal to close the door on one academic year and rest before gearing up for the next, but don't forget to open a window when you do so. Windows help us look backward and learn from our experiences, and they also give us an opportunity to look ahead to what is possible. While I know many educators are anxious to close the classroom door this time of year and head to the beach, the mountains, or anywhere but the schoolhouse—and by all means, you have earned it—don't forget to open a window before turning in your keys. While the "teaching" part of your responsibilities may take a hiatus, I encourage you to keep the "learning" element alive and growing. Use this time to make connections with educators What if end-of-year checklists included items such as "greatest learning accomplishment," "favorite read," and "next big leap"? SUMMER 2019 | VOLUME 65 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 41

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