Another school year is coming to an end. For both students and teachers, this is the time where you feel all kinds of mixed emotions: anxious for the upcoming final period, but at the same time, happy and relieved because it’s almost over… We all experience this feeling in our life, and it’s always fun to sit back, relax, and reflect on the school year together. We asked teachers some questions to reflect on the past school year and here are the responses:
“What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of?”
“Teaching a new grade!”
“Did some great training on difficult behaviors in the classroom.”
“Helped advocated for some children in my care who needed extra help. Helped progress 3 students into early reading stage.”
“My Kindergarten class wrote and published a book. Not only is it my goal to teach and mentor students to be the best versions of themselves but to also teach them to love themselves, grow confidence so that they can advocate for themselves and others.
I think it is of the utmost importance to teach positive character traits from a young age- teach them, model them, and EXPECT THEM. I have high expectations for my learners (even if they are only in kindergarten) but I do my due diligence to ensure they are equipped with the strategies, resources and support they need to succeed.”
“Making connections with tough students”
Therapy can help teachers to effectively set boundaries with students, colleagues, and parents. It makes educators more patient and understanding, identify and manage the sources of their stress.
“What is the biggest challenge you have faced this year? How did you get through it?”
“Tough student. Support from co-worker. ”
“Short staffing, being able to use staff from the office with the training helps! we work together!”
“Other than many staffing changes & challenges, as a team our biggest challenge was supporting unexpected behaviour needs and diversity, including significantly more language delays than we’ve seen in the past.”
“Kept my energy level up while running my own preschool, training for running race and raising my 3 1/2yr old daughter!”
“Time …. never enough time in a day. Organized stuff to try to fit all into a day. ”
All my resources and materials were either what I purchased or what past families donated to me. 6 weeks into school my class grew to a full class (23 with an ECE). I had to fight for appropriate chairs, search high and low for tables and was extremely thankful for applying for a flexible seating grant 5 years ago so that I had enough seating for my growing class. After many requests and the support of my Vice Principal, I received a light table and a few materials that my students enjoy. We are a class family who love and support one another. We get creative with our space and appreciate what we have.”
Don’t you just love hearing stories like this 😊
“Being physically attacked by students. Giving myself time for self-care and taking mental health days”
“There have been a few hurdles this year… my classroom initially started as an Under 16 class (where it was myself and 15 students). My classroom allocation was a tiny room that was originally used for a class of 8.
Reading these stories makes us understand more about educators’ unheard hardships. Teachers, you are incredible!
“What is something you tried in your classroom this year for the first time? How did it go?”
“Baby photos of the children and guess who is who, it was sooo fun! The school agers loved it!”
Ha! We also played this game in Quality Classrooms. It was so fun!
“We’ve used visual cues, visual schedules & transition objects before, but we relied on them very heavily this year to support diversity & inclusion. ”
“We celebrated the author Frank Asch by having a pancake in his Pajamas day! It was a huge success, and the kids still talk about it. ”
“Puff paint with shave cream”
“This year I have started taking my class outside for 30 minutes (regardless of weather conditions). I call this “Outdoor Explore” we do things from just using our imaginations to play, going for walks, gardening, exploring the pond and creek around us etc. I feel this is a great way to start our day by waking up our minds and embracing nature around us. ”
Outdoor Learning is the best! Oh, and by the way, here’s our blog about outdoor learning.
“What is one way that you grew professionally this year?”
“I learned about shared writing. ”
“I think I grew in my ability to create and maintain positive relationships with a variety of parents whose expectations and communication styles are very different.”
“I feel this year I have become much more flexible. My space may be tiny. My chairs and tables may be old and mismatched but the kiddos that have created my class family are still full of wonder, excitement, and their own passion to learn. I have been flexible with my schedule, my class dynamics, my expectations of myself. I have learned that I can adjust to change and be just as flexible as our students are with us. ”
“Working with AAC technology”
“I stepped into a management role with little notice. As a result, my scope grew and my perspective on supporting the family (and not just the child) grew with it.”
“What are some useful items you have in the classroom?”
“Loose parts, dice, Math manipulatives”
“pens, crayons, scissors, see through storage!”
The Totes are sized perfectly for larger, bulk items and are see-through to help easily identify the contents.
“Manipulative visual schedules, multiples of everything, cozy calm corners, open-ended wooden toys”
“Dish washing station”
Enough washable markers for the entire class. Sturdy storage box with 6 convenient, re-usable desktop bins for easy distribution and storage.
Save paper by using a time-tested and reusable writing surface. Green chalkboards are the perfect size to store in students’ desks or notebooks.
“Book library and child’s couch”
Literacy Couch, Wheat: This compact reading couch is perfect for small spaces. Generous book slots hold a multitude of books while the three, included clear Tubs are great for housing literacy items and toys.
“Markers, pencil crayons crayons paper …. any art supply ”
Cozy Woodland Sit-Arounds. Includes Deep Water Blue, Sky Blue, Sage, Green, Walnut and Almond.
ErgoErgo An extraordinary seating concept combining the benefits of active sitting with a bold contemporary design. After sitting on ErgoErgo, ordinary chairs seem…well, just ordinary.
Multi-function activity table saves valuable classroom space. Use as a tracing table, or with any light table accessory. The LED lights are energy friendly an built to last (rated for 50,000 hours).
“Pocket calendar, sensory swing, kinetic sand”
“What items do you wish to have in the new school year? And why?”
“Puzzles for a quiet choice time”
“New outdoor tricycles and 3-wheeled scooters to add to our collection; a tough tray for new types of investigations; a new Preschool Play Kitchen.”
Tilo Three Wheeled Scooter: Tilo’s quality and safety standards allow children the freedom to experience the joy of motion, the confidence of speed and the adventure of exploration. Features include high quality steel bearings, powder coated steel frame and thermoplastic polyurethane wheels.
Young Time Play Kitchen Set Let your children create their own recipes for imaginative play with this four-piece kitchen set. Includes a refrigerator, sink, stove, and cupboard.
“Blocks, time to renew!”
Ahhh, don’t we all?
“Antique weight scale to learn about weight.”
“Flags of the world to expand the geographic section and interest.”
“Outdoor wooden building blocks because we had these in my last school, and they were amazing!”
“More assortment of art supplies”
“Puppet Theatre (I made one out of a cardboard box but would love something a bit sturdier)
Puppets (for imaginative play)
Unit Bricks (100 pieces) (STEM purposes)
Sand/Water Table (I have so many ideas that would incorporate so many learning opportunities)
Glue, Pencils, Crayons, Markers, Construction paper (these are things I had to buy with my own money this past year several times and it really adds up)
Tranquil Trees area rug (we don’t have a rug so they sit on the floor which can be extremely uncomfortable for them)”
This tabletop puppet theater lets a child’s imagination take center stage. Roll up the velvet curtain to start the show. Roll it closed after the grand finale. Flip the reversible backdrop for an enchanted kingdom or a brilliant sunrise. Assembles in seconds for instant show time.
Tranquil Trees Rug Happy little trees will be a fun and welcoming addition to any room or learning space!
Sand & Water Table Economical sand and water units are designed to be durable as well as attractive. Good quality taps, clear lid and a heavy-duty metal frame.
“Lego, art supplies, loose parts to foster creativity and free exploration with students.”
“What is your favorite moment from this school year so far?”
“Seeing the blossoming friendships of our young learners; watching new teams come together in supportive ways; hearing families discuss their pride & joy in their children’s learning.”
“Too many to list! each day has an awesome moment!”
Good to hear!
“Probably just laughing with a student when they said something funny. ”
“Every day …always something new with each day ”
“Successful field trips”
“I have a student in my class that is select mute. He is the smartest little guy that has the most contagious smile. This year I have really focused on teaching my little kiddos to self-advocate, using their voice. This little guy may seem like he isn’t paying attention, but he is always listening. One day this past month I was getting him ready to go home and he said in the quietest little voice “I don’t want to” and proceeded to take his backpack off. He won’t say his name. He won’t say my name. We have figured out our own way to communicate with thumbs up/down. But the day I heard his little voice say he didn’t want to go home just melted my heart. He has not said anything since then, but I remind him that I know he has brilliant ideas and heard him speak once before- he just smiles at me. It was rewarding to hear that he didn’t want to go home for the reason I assume is because he enjoys being at school- my goal is to make each of my learners love school and want to be here… made me feel I accomplished that a little bit. ”
Now that’s a great story to end the blog 😊
Thank you so much to all the teachers who participated in this questionnaire! Teachers, we hope you all have a great rest of the school year and build more memories with your students. You have done an amazing job!