Year End Reflection 2012
As another school year ends and I begin to wrap my mind around all of this year’s successes, challenges and changes that made up the past ten months, I, more than any other previous school year, feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment in terms of understanding my students as learners, the effectiveness of my team and that I am working in a very special place that has helped me as an individual, classroom teacher and member of the school community.
Going into the 2011/2012 school year, our team dedicated ourselves to doing all we can to make sure that we were always ahead of the game in terms of planning projects, planning assessments, and handling the day to day operations of an LC. Sound difficult? Well we all know that it can definitely be met with its share of difficulties, but being blessed with a team like mine, makes accomplishing these goals much easier. I always feel a level of support that encourages me to do my best but at the same time, a level of responsibility that I need to do my part for the team to achieve success. This makes the life of a teacher much easier when you are coming to work each day. Knowing you have a group of individuals that work so well together for the success of the students, the school community and each other is a blessing that I hope I have for many years to come.
The success of your students is always the most important goal of any classroom teacher. We all want our students to do their best, but this also takes the support of a team of teachers, not one individual. You always wonder at the beginning of a school year, sometimes before that, who the students are that you will see coming though the doors in September and what they will be like? It can sometimes be stressful and worrisome and you do what you can to prepare but you don’t really get a sense of it until those classroom doors swing shut. I have to admit, I was worried this year. And although this school year was not without it’s challenges, I can say that after 11 years of teaching that this was the most successful I can remember. Successful because I really felt I accomplished a lot with my students in terms of covering curriculum, creating meaningful assessments and guiding them to become responsible citizens, but most importantly, knowing who they are as learners. Their strengths and areas of growth. This could not have been accomplished without the proactive support of our administration, the forementioned dedication of my team but also the wonderful teachers we have in our building. The students see and feel that we are here for them. Here to help them grow and learn. We have created an atmosphere in our school that encourages students to do well and it has helped me in turn get to know them better as learners.
I have never been a very overly emotional person in my life, and definitely not as a teacher, but with the events that transpired at the beginning of this school year, we were all thrown an emotional curve ball that tested us all as individuals, as teachers and as a school community. And although we are not out of the woods just yet, it has been reaffirmed that I am working in a special place. Greystone is always being thought of as an innovative school through its collaboration, inquiry based learning and integration of technology, but I think our staff should also be known for how we come together in difficult times. It is amazing to be a part of such a special place.
So what is the theme of my reflection this year? Support. I truly felt an immense amount of support this year from my team, administration and my fellow teachers. Does that give me a grade of emerging then? I hope not. What it does tell me though is that despite all of the changes, challenges and unforeseen circumstances we have seen this school year, the successes could not have been possible without the support for our students and for each other. It feels good. Good to know that I am coming to a building everyday that has this kind of support for you as a person. Our kids are lucky.
~ Craig Letendre, Learning Community 5 Teacher