Posted on 10/22/2018 at 07:52 AM by Blog Experts

Have you ever thought how much influence mirrors have over us?  A simple reflection can make us feel confident on some days and insecure on others.  We rely on mirrors to keep us safe while we’re driving, and presentable when we’re getting ready for the day.  We tend to make adjustments in our driving and our appearance by what we see reflected in the mirror. Reflections have the power to change our attitudes and our behavior.

Likewise, being reflective with our teaching can be just as powerful.  Good teachers tend to be reflective. They think about what they do in the classroom and why they do it, and look at the effects their efforts have on their students.  They analyze how something was taught and how their practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes.  They reflect on how their specific teaching decisions impact their students' learning.  They are also brave enough to ask to ask others their opinion and be open to constructive criticism.  

Below are 10 ways to be a more reflective teacher:

  1. Video yourself teaching.  Watch it with the audio on, and off.  Look for specifics like who you tend to answer more often, your body language, how much wait time you give children.  
  2. Share a video of you teaching with your professional learning group.  Ask them to look for specifics and ask for feedback.
  3. Invite other teachers to observe you teach and to be “critical friends.”  Thicken your skin; it’s not about you- it’s about perfecting your craft.
  4. Ask your students for feedback.  Even preschool children can tell you how they feel a lesson went.  
  5. Ask yourself daily “How did it go, and how do you know?”
  6. Keep a minimalist blog or journal.  
  7. Be brutally honest with but not critical of yourself.
  8. Surround yourself with enthusiasm and possibility.
  9. Look both for what’s working & what’s broken.
  10. Diversify how you do things.  We all have our favorite techniques, materials, and go-to ways of measuring progress.  Change it up. Learn a different way.

By being reflective, you are honing your skills as a teacher. 

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