You're wrapping up for the year. Between the field trips and assemblies and state testing, you're finding time for progress notes and summer homework packets. But in the back of your mind, you're wondering... Did I do enough? Can I really call this year a success?
State test scores or even progress notes may not tell the whole story, but we can judge our own success on a couple of factors:
Partner. It's a good sign if you can look back on your year and point to one new relationship you've built. Did you make a particularly strong connection with a parent or family? What about the language unit you collaborated with the 3rd grade team on? Or the system that finally started to work with your resource teacher? Sowing the seeds of collaboration can pay off for years to come.
Practice. Our field is broad and, as professionals, we require constant sharpening of the saw. The catalog of new skills and techniques to learn seems never-ending. We have to be ready for anyone that shows up on our caseload, and yet we'll never know everything. When you look back on your year, is there at least one new clinical skill you've acquired?
Plan. The real beauty of working in the schools is the cycle of it all. The school year ends, we wrap everything up, only to get it all back out again in the fall. It's easier and more exciting to start up again if there's something already in the works. Maybe you've been ruminating on the logistics of scheduling or being more efficient with screenings. It could be a new approach with a specific student, or a thematic unit for fall, or how you organize all your materials. The year is truly a success when you're left with the spark of an idea for the project that will inspire you in the fall.
Partner, practice, and plan. Intentional reflection about the work we've done this year allows us all to celebrate and to grow.