Effective Teachers Are Self Reflective Teachers
The end of the year is fast approaching and if you are like any other teacher ever, you will be checking up on how much content you have taught this year, how much you didn’t get done and frantically trying to assess students for their learning so that you can write an accurate report for the end of the year.
Term 4 is a hectic time and often the time when teachers lament what hasn’t been achieved rather than celebrating what has.
It is important to remember what the students will walk away with at the end of the year.
While you reflect on how you could have done things better, make sure that you are focusing on what is important in your practice.
- Did you give time and energy to building relationships with your students so that they were ready to learn?
- Did you create a positive classroom climate so that students were supportive of each other and treated each other with respect?
- Did you provide a safe place for students when they made mistakes so that they knew they could begin again with a fresh slate?
- Did you take note of what knowledge and skills the students already possessed and provide scaffolding for the learning to progress?
- Did you use student interests to make the learning relevant, meaningful and engaging?
- Did you allow student choice in how they demonstrated the learning?
- Did you provide a variety of modalities for students to access information?
- Did you develop independent learning skills by providing opportunities for students to work individually, in pairs and in groups?
- Did you foster interdependence among students by allowing them to become experts rather than you being the ‘font of all knowledge’?
- Were you willing to take risks by trying a new approach and modelling to your students that you learn by taking risks and ‘having a go’.
When you reflect upon the year that was, give thought to your philosophy of teaching and the kind of teacher that you want to be, rather than the marks your students received or the amount of content you ploughed through.
Education is about developing a love of learning in our students so that they are inquisitive, inspired and forward-thinking problem solvers in the world.