Why is self-reflection so important in teaching?
when we teach we learn about what works and what doesn’t work by using self-reflection. Teach a lesson, a day, a week and look back and take the time to examine what worked well, and what didn’t work.
Here are some questions to ask:
- How did the students respond? Was the lesson too hard, too easy? How would you present the materials or lesson differently next time?
- How are you feeling physically and emotionally? Are issues in your personal life creeping into the classroom? Are you able to leave stress from home at home?
Every facet of teaching and education including the teacher’s cognitive, psychological, social/emotional and professional characteristics can be reflected upon. How you show up in your classroom and your school matters! Every facet of you as a person and teacher impacts your students and the whole school is impacted on some level.
When we prepare to review dispositions of our pre-service teachers with self-reflection in mind, we have the following rubric and scale:
Take a look at this scale and see how you would rate yourself right now…
We always want to see ourselves with a growth mindset and as a person who can grow and develop new skills.
Are you a person who is willing to put in the work to self-reflect so you can grow personally or professionally? If so how are you self-reflecting?
One student teacher I had two years ago said he had a long drive home from his student teaching placement. He took this long commute to run through his school day. He would think about the areas of the day that went well and the areas of the day that he would do differently next time. One suggestion I had for him is to have some type of journal or log to eventually (after he is done driving:) record those thoughts. Even though you think you would never forget them, the year is so full and there is no way to remember everything.
I designed this self-reflection worksheet as a way to encapsulate that self-reflection every week.
- Things that went well
- Things you would do differently
- Students you connected with (who and how?)
- Questions or concerns
You can download the weekly reflection worksheet here: Weekly Reflection student teaching-2
Take a moment to fill this out each week. Create a file to keep the reflections and by the end of the year you will be so amazed at how much you have grown.
- Last night in our weekly guide meeting my wonderful pre-service teachers got into partners and used this self-reflection worksheet to reflect upon their week in the classroom. They enjoyed the chance to share with a partner and we will try this again next week.
The student on the left side of the picture, Hailey also shared her journal which she uses daily to write in. Her collaborating teacher encouraged her to use a daily journal to write notes about the day and questions that come up. I was so impressed to see this level of self-reflection from a student teacher!
Two of my student teachers using the self-reflection worksheet to reflect on their week