Have you seen end of year countdowns posted on blogs, Twitter, shared on websites and even hanging in classrooms? These posters, numbered post its, paper rings, or balloons are removed to signify another day closer to summer and are often found in classrooms. I've often wondered what service they provide and what positive (or negative) impact they have on learning. As an educator and now an Instructional Coach I believe every day that teachers spend teaching and learning with their students is precious, and should be celebrated. I think there's something to be said about the early elementary grades that count the days of school during calendar time and proclaim "We're ____ days smarter!" This shows students that their learning begins on day one, and to these young students there's no end in sight. Some educators may think I'm being too optimistic, while others think I'm crazy for not looking forward to summer. The fact of the matter is, I love learning, this is the mentality I would want to embrace and project to my students.
I'm sure some students, parents, and even teachers could tell me exactly how many days or even Mondays are left, but that's not what I'm keeping my sights on. So, while others may use countdowns and have the end in sight, I'll use formative assessments, student interests, and district curricular units to focus on the learning opportunities we still have, and need to use to our advantage, as we work to prepare students to become successful in college, career, or civic life. The only countdown in my head is reminding me I have ___ number of days left to make a difference.