Would my school rehire me if I had to interview for my job right now?
5 Tips for Better Teacher Reflection
- Invite trusted colleagues into the classroom. [My goal is to invite someone at least once a month.] First of all, the audience will make you think about your lesson plan from a new perspective. Additionally, an open and honest conversation with them after the lesson can provide you with great insights. Be willing to hear their thoughts and suggestions.
- Take organized notes about units for next year. [My goal is to take notes at the end of every unit.] I’ve tried different ways of taking notes on things that went well or didn’t go well during my units. At the beginning of my career, I used post-it notes in my curriculum binder of reminders of things to change or not use. Now, with everything stored in my Google Drive, I need a new system that I will use. Two easy options come to mind: 1 – For an ongoing note-taking system, create a Google Doc. (Clearly labeled so you remember to look at it next year!) For every unit, type notes in directly whenever you think of something, or 2 – For a one-and-done note-taking system, create a Google Form with generic questions that you fill out at the end of every unit. Answers will be collected in a Google Sheet that you can look at, with the bonus that you can easily see trends between units. See my sample form here.
- Write about it. [My goal is to blog at least once a month.] Whether you choose to blog or journal, I think writing about general struggles and successes is an effective way to process what is happening in your classroom. Blogging has the added bonus of an authentic audience – but do what you are comfortable with.
- Ask students for feedback. [My goal is to give students a brief survey at the end of every unit.] We know we need to give students feedback faster and more often. The same goes for us. I am going to create a generic Google Form that I will give students at the end of every unit. Am I meeting their needs? Do they perceive that they are making progress? How is our relationship? Hopefully I will find concrete ways to help students before it’s too late. See sample form here.
- Meditate. [My goal is to meditate 3x/week.] Meditation is a great way to recognize thought patterns and tension that you may not realize you have. Once you identify them, it becomes easier to let it go or act instead of react. Meditation has personally helped me respond better to students (with more patience, empathy, and calm); identify triggers that cause stress and anxiety; and accept and develop flexibility for the inevitable changes that occur in the classroom. I like the Headspace App. (I’m even going to use their new guided meditation sessions with my students! *This is not an affiliate link – just sharing what I use.)
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