Back to School: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself
We ask our students the basic “back to school questions” every year. What did you do this summer? Did you read any books? What are you looking forward to this year? We ask these questions to get to know our students and to help our students practice reflection. But what about you? Are you returning rejuvenated? Have you reflected and set goals? We are so busy focusing on our students, that we often forget to provide “in-filling” for ourselves. Therefore, before you walk into school on that crisp August or September morning, ask yourself these questions.
1) What qualities did your favorite teacher display?
Think back to your favorite teacher. Likely, he/she inspired you to become a teacher yourself. What characteristics did he/she have? Once you pinpoint those characteristics, think about how you aspire to become that teacher for your students.
2) How will you measure success this year?
Of course, your administrators can tell you exactly how! But what about your personal success as a teacher? Is it the amount of positive relationships developed? Perhaps it is that every student will ask an insightful question. Maybe, it is that at least half of your caseload will lead their own IEP! Decide how you will measure success, and assess your progress along the way.
3) What is your biggest fear this year?
Let’s face it. We all come into a new school year with some apprehension. But why waste the first few exciting days of school on it? We have students to inspire! Instruction to dive into. Do not let it go to waste because of fear. There are 1:1 roll-outs, SLOs, evaluation cycles. Identify it now, and identify how you will face that fear head-on this year.
4) What are your strengths?
FLEX. You inspire. You challenge. You nurture. Those are just a few. What are your greatest strengths? Don’t let a past experience drag you down and lead to burn-out. Start to put the well-deserved confidence in yourself now. The kids need it!
5) What makes YOUR students the BEST?
You will spend more time with most of these students than they do with their own parents! You must have pride in every student. And they need to know it. So you better know now – what makes them so great? They are going to need to hear it frequently in order to help you reach your goals.
Again, these questions are just for you. Figure these out for yourself before that first day of school. Then, considering these questions, decide what questions our students need to ask themselves! Even better, you can use Planbook Plus to get them reflecting AND get some helpful data from their answers! Let us know what questions you plan to ask your students!