Reflections on the 2022-2023 School Year

Reflections on the 2022-2023 School Year

It’s the last week of July, and some teachers are still shaking off the stress of the 2022-2023 school year. The release of Ontario’s new language arts and de-streamed English curriculum the last week of June was in many ways indicative of the school year – a year of working to respond to change in an increasingly complex teaching context. Educators across Ontario have been working to translate Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy into practice to centre students and amplify their strengths, to assess and bridge literacy needs by incorporating new strategies based on research from the Science of Reading into their practice, and by fielding the mental, physical, emotional and academic aftermath of COVID teaching and learning:

“This year was far worse than the last two. The stress has compiled. I am exhausted.”

The limited responses to the ELAN Blog survey is perhaps an indicator of this sentiment. 

But among the responses were reflections of hope, excitement and connection:

“People can change. When we invest in teachers, and take the time to support one another and build capacity – people’s mindsets will change.” 

“We implemented structured literacy in kindergarten classrooms and early screening for K-2. I am so excited about the gains we have seen students make.”

“I loved the messages promoted by [our] board to try new things, to not be afraid, and to advocate for change where you see fit. The solution is not to go back to the way things were but rather to adapt what we knew and what we were good at to create something new, better, stronger. I am grateful I was able [and] encouraged to try new things.”

“This year was tough for everyone. Students, teachers and admin all struggled to find their footing and readjust to life post-pandemic. There have been many new and unpredictable problems. But we started to figure it out and we will continue to strive for excellence because we are teachers and that’s what we do!”

As we move into the month of August, here are some words from fellow Ontario teachers to give you permission to relax, rejuvenate and refuel your teaching fire:

“Thank you:)”

“Well done. This year has had its challenges, and you deserve a break to recharge. You did it!”

“Take time to relax! You deserve it!”

“Balance your summer reading: 1 for work, 1 for pleasure.”

“Take time to rejuvenate and restore!”

“Breathe.”

“We’re doing amazing!”

 

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