“It is necessary ... for a man to go away by himself ... to sit on a rock ... and ask, 'Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?”
― Carl Sandburg
What do you think? I think to be an effective teacher, one must keep an actively reflective mind. This reflection can happen in a myriad of ways: daily, weekly, quarterly and at the end of the year.
Daily: a great way to reflect on what worked and what didn't is to simply write down your thoughts on your lesson plan. If you are like me, I keep my lesson plans for use later.
Weekly: I use the quiz or other student material to gauge student understand. If there is a weakness, what can I do to fix that weakness?
Quarterly: This is a big one for my school. We have quarterly assessments that each content creates and each teacher administers the assessment. We then "crunch the numbers" and determine where we have weaknesses. We then have to devise lessons to reteach and rework those lessons. We have to even fill out a form and provide our lessons to our department chair.
End of the Year: I have completed a few different ways and have seen other great ways to self-reflect. Last year I encouraged the members of my department to write themselves a letter to be opened during the first week of teacher workweek.
This year, my neighbor teacher, had students tell her specific things that they liked about her class and things she could work on. WOW! That was really brave of her to do a reflection like that. She had the parameters that it needed to be kind and include specifics- avoid "This class was lame!" or "This class was so great!". Why was it lame? Why was it awesome? She received some great information to use next year.
Do you self reflect? If so, what do you do?