Reflection of my 2021-2022 school year

Last week, I read Juliette’s reflection and today, I follow her 5-4-3-2-1 structure.

5 Things that Made Me Smile
1. Planning and pulling off a successful Teacher Research conference for my district. I personally guided nine cohorts, helping 40 teachers choose a topic they were interested in researching. Then after a moving Keynote speech by Ellin Keene, 20 teachers shared their research story on the 2nd to the last Wednesday evening of the school year. Reflecting on ALL this smart works brings smile to my face!!
2. Guiding my entire staff and then guiding all 800+ students to create an Identity Web, a strategy I learned from Sarah Ahmed in her book, Being the Change. This action helped teachers and students to see all aspects of the people in our school. As an ELA teacher, it helped me connect books to students with the goal of the book acting as a mirror. All should see themselves in a book!
3. Seeing a passing score on the state test from the student who simply spent time in my classroom reading their choice book. This proved to me that we get better at reading by reading!
4. Planning and ending the year with author, Leah Henderson as I wrote about HERE. Her message to “Be open to the possiblilties” will serve me well as I start summer and then another school year in the fall!
5. Structuring my ELA department meetings each month to include a read-aloud and a quick-write. Since we teach reading and writing, I was proud of us for spending time doing what we teach.

4 Words to Describe my School Year
1. juggling. 2. leading. 3. learning. 4. rookie-year as an ELA Coach

3 Plans for my Summer
1. #SummerofNana – I will be helping my 87-year old mother move from 2-floor walkup, 2-bedroom condo to a 1-bedroom condo in a building with an elevator. Thankful for the gift of time this summer to help her!
2. #read&write – I plan to post every Tuesday, something. I plan to read LOTS!! HERE’s a photo of my stack. Just finished Loyalty by Avi – WOW!! Check it out!!
3. #Get Organized – I plan to organize my own clutter and also my finances. I just finished year 29 as a teacher. How many more to go? Maybe it is time to start making a plan, especially since my daughters will both be living in Europe. Maybe I should have a more flexible job so I can visit them? Time will tell!

2 Things I Learned this School Year
1. I learned that it REALLY is important to KNOW my students’ identities.
2. I learned to LISTEN to both staff and students before acting.

1 Goal for my Next School Year
1. I want to grow as a stronger antiracist teacher – I attended a book event with Ibram X. Kendi last Wed. I bought his books, How to Raise an Antiracist and GoodNight Racism. With lots of summer reflection and reading on this topic, I do want this to be my goal for the 2022-2023 school year. I still humbly have lots to learn and then use to inform my white woman actions.

6 thoughts on “Reflection of my 2021-2022 school year

  1. vivian chen says:

    Sally, I love this format and the important reflections you’ve shared. I also appreciate how each section has a different text feature or structure–the #s for plans, the ALL CAPS in the things you learned, etc. I need to save this as a mentor text!


  2. Stacey Shubitz says:

    You have done such incredible work as a “rookie ELA coach.” I’m so impressed by all that you accomplished, Sally. You certainly deserve some free time to read and write. Sounds like you’ll have a bit of it since you’ll be busy helping Nana move.

    BTW: I adored the third point in your first list. “This proved to me that we get better at reading by reading!” This is so true. I wish this could be shouted from the rooftops so those who don’t give kids choice could begin to understand why choice in books matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Erika says:

    I love this format and use it each Friday in my notebook. I love that you have used it for an entire year! Your fifth smile had me especially smiling and I would love to talk more about your goal, as it is something I am actively working on too. My solution to your daughters in Europe? Teach internationally:)


  4. Juliette Awua-Kyerematen says:

    What made you smile was so well elaborated- I learned a lot of ideas I can use in the next school year. We were also thinking about using identity maps to get to know about our students during the first five days. Your use of the maps “to connect books to students with the goal of the book acting as a mirror” is great. Another idea I really love and will share is your use of “read-aloud” and “quick- writes” for the teachers, during meetings . Thanks for sharing this slice.


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