Reflecting on the Year with the SOAR Analysis Model - A Framework for Growth

Dec 06, 2023

The end of the school year is a natural time for reflection. As the hustle and bustle of term wraps up, it's important to take stock of what worked well and where there is room for improvement. In my recent podcast episode, I shared a structured reflection model called SOAR Analysis to guide end-of-year evaluation for PDHPE & Community and Family Studies teachers.

SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results - four key areas to consider in your reflection on the past year. This can be a great tool for PDHPE & Community and Family Studies teachers to generate thought-provoking questions for each element of SOAR to help unpack what you and your faculty or team can build on, where growth is possible, and how to measure success.

The Strengths component encourages acknowledging what you do well. I recommend considering what you are most proud of both personally and collectively in your PDHPE & Community and Family Studies classroom. Reflecting on strengths helps boost morale and confidence as you identify positives to continue developing. As an educator, reflecting on how you uniquely engage and support students can provide insight into building strong teacher-student relationships.

When exploring Opportunities, I recommend evaluating how to best meet student needs and differentiate your approach. With the disruption of the past few years, focusing on opportunities to further engage and support PDHPE & Community and Family Studies students is especially important. Identifying areas for growth directly addresses how to maximise your potential impact.

The Aspirations element of SOAR analysis prompts reflection on your deepest passions and values. For educators, this may involve considering how subjects taught relate to beliefs around learning. It can also mean exploring how to implement initiatives aligned with making a difference for PDHPE & Community and Family Studies students. Clarifying aspirations provides direction for professional development and goal setting.

Finally, the Results component encourages identifying meaningful ways to measure success. While external metrics like PDHPE & CAFS HSC scores are one measure, I can’t stress enough the importance of non-academic indicators and celebration of achievements. Measuring engagement, wellbeing, teacher-student relationships and growth mindsets captures a holistic view of results. Celebrating milestones maintains motivation.

Overall, the SOAR Analysis model offers a structured yet thought-provoking framework for end-of-year reflection for PDHPE & Community and Family Studies teachers. By evaluating strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results, educators can gain insight into building on successes and addressing areas for growth as they plan for the new year. Regular reflection helps map progress towards making the maximum positive impact.