Winding Down-Gearing Up

Whew!!! You’re almost there! This is the time of year that things get a little crazy in your classroom but you are also winding down the school year.  It’s time to reflect on where your students are and just how much they have grown this past school year.  It is also the time to begin to think about what adjustments need to be made for the upcoming school year.  This is always hard to do when you don’t know the students you will get next year.  You may have an idea of where you need to start and a general idea of where students enter a particular grade level, but you really don’t know your classroom until they all show up for the new school year.

One thing we do know is where we are as educators.  How much content knowledge do we have in a certain subject?  How much do we know about our grade level standards?  What do we know about the progression that students go through as they are developing cognitive skills?  These are all questions we can answer about ourselves before we even see the first student in our classroom for a new school year.  As a teacher, I discovered early on that I had to seek out professional learning to improve my own teaching.  At times this is hard to work on, as we are busy doing the things teachers do, TEACHING.  Not having students in the summer gave me the opportunity to work on my own learning.

Here at the AIMS Center we are also winding down our work in classrooms.  We will take the next couple of months to analyze the work we are finishing up and begin to reflect on our experiences. Just like a classroom teacher this is our time to think about what we know about ourselves and begin the conversations about where we need to learn more and expand our knowledge.  Just like the teachers we work with, this is our time to work on ourselves professionally to improve our own knowledge.

I am thankful that I am in a profession that knows we can always get better for the benefit of our students.  I am not the same teacher today that I was on my first year in the classroom.  Some of my progress has happened from site trainings, but my knowledge has also expanded by my need to answer the big question, “What do I need to do to help my students progress?”  I wanted to know just how to meet all of my students needs.  I knew that my students all had individual needs that I needed to address differently.  I also needed to find how their needs could be similar enough for me to address as a group.  

Here at AIMS we do just that!  We recognize the need to address students’ mathematics and what they bring to the situation, while also finding the similarities between students to address their needs in a classroom setting.  We have access to research and researchers that allow us to grow and to continue answering that big question and learn how to address students individual needs.

Read our blogs, listen to our podcasts, and look through our posts from past conference presentations.  Continue to work on your knowledge as a teacher.  The more we grow in our knowledge, the better informed we are as teachers for those many students that walk into our classrooms!  So take a deep breath, celebrate another school year, wind down the long school year, but take time to gear up your own knowledge by visiting our website and learning more about how children build number sense.  Relax… you can do all this from the comfort of a lounge chair by the pool with a nice refreshing drink.

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