End of the School Year Reflection Prompts

You’re reaching the end of another unprecedented school year filled with growing demands and challenges intensified by the pandemic. Although your to-do list seems endless, setting aside time focused on self-awareness is a worthwhile investment that you deserve.

As defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), self-awareness is: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

Self-awareness plays a critical role in how we learn and grow. When individuals are self-aware, they build upon their strengths while efficiently focusing on areas they need to improve upon – a key step to setting and achieving goals.

Self-awareness can be achieved through self-reflection exercises such as journaling - and is beneficial in many ways including:

  • Identifying and managing difficult emotions and feelings effectively
  • Enhancing communication skills
  • Effective and responsible decision-making
  • Reflecting on difficult situations
  • Keeping life events in perspective
  • Having an outlet for sharing feelings that are difficult to verbally express

To get started with journaling, I found these lists of end of the year reflection prompts for both educators and students by Minds in Bloom especially helpful.

For example, here are some questions to ask yourself as you wrap up the school year:

  • What is something you tried in your classroom this year for the first time? How did it go?
  • Who amongst your colleagues was the most helpful to you? Who were you there for?
  • When was a time you felt joyful and/or inspired about the work you do?
  • Which student in your class do you think showed the most improvement? Why do you think this student did so well?
  • What do you hope your students remember most about you as a teacher?

And before the final bell of 2021/22 rings, guide your students with developing and strengthening their self-awareness skills by providing these reflection prompts to write about and/or discuss in class:

  • What is something we did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?
  • Where is your favorite part of our classroom (or school)? Why?
  • What is something that was hard for you at the start of the year but is easy now?
  • What are three things you did this year to help your classmates?
  • What advice would you give students who will be in this class next year?

Setting aside time for self-reflection can be a positive way to head into summer - and you’ll be armed with valuable insights for the fall. Best wishes for the remainder of the 2021/22 school year and beyond!

Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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