I realized that I have not posted in quite awhile and it is because I have had the pleasure of hosting a student teacher these past few weeks. It has been a great experience for me: I have enjoyed watching my student teacher grow as an educator and I have also enjoyed this time to reflect on my own teaching.
My student teacher has been with me and my students since the first week of school and he is wrapping up his time with us this week. I took over the teaching duties today. Like all preservice teachers my student teacher has his strengths and areas to work on. I have been so excited to see him continue to hone his strengths and being willing to listen to suggestions on how to improve his teaching methods. Personally, I think that is the key to continuing to be a great teacher: willing to reflect on your method and be willing to change areas that are not up to par.
So, what is the best way to determine one's strengths and weaknesses? Student teacher has had, to his horror or help, me in the back of the room coaching him. I cannot have someone in the back of my room all day, every day. I could video tape myself teaching. I could also have a colleague watch for one lesson and give me feedback.
Thinking about how to be a better teacher is the key to continually being a better teacher.