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How Teachers Use Self-Reflection and Evaluation in Education

how teachers use self-reflection and evaluation in education

Do you consider yourself a reflective teacher? Learning to use self-reflection and evaluation in education to move your career and personal life forward to achieve your goals.

Self-reflection and evaluation are an essential part of my daily routine. Trust me, it works.

Improved class performance, small ‘thank you’ notes from students and their parents, and the appreciation of your peers and supervisors – these are items that testify to you being a good teacher. Go the extra mile to become an exceptional educator. Embrace and model two tools for your students: reflection and self-assessment. This process coincides with the growth mindset concept paramount in education and anyone’s life.

Understanding Self-Reflection and Evaluation in Teaching

As a reflective teacher, you know ‘reflect’ means to ‘contemplate’ and to think seriously. Reflection goes far beyond this meaning in an educational setting. It’s a critical self-regulation factor that motivates teachers to monitor their performance and evaluate their progress against specific criteria.

Through the self-evaluation stage that follows, they can recognize their strengths and identify weaknesses, which, in turn, allows them to formulate strategies for challenging situations. As this is an iterative procedure, teachers will soon begin to recognize improvement. Analyzing this further will enable them to choose more appropriate goals and develop reasonable plans.

Why You Should Reflect and Evaluate Your Work

It’s easy to become the victim of your ego when someone proposes you reflect on and evaluate your current process. After all, you are a capable instructor whom the school chose because of their capabilities, knowledge, and experience. Proposing self-reflection and self-evaluation isn’t to undermine your skills or demean you. It’s an invitation to reap numerous benefits that will transport you to the ranks of a “rocking with the times” teacher. Here is an article from the University of Washington on self-reflection on teaching.

Self-reflection is one of the most efficient ways to acknowledge that your teaching strategies can be improved. Instead of having others make snap judgments about your method without having the context to support it, it is you who collects and analyzes all data to ensure your teaching strategies improve if necessary.

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.”

― John Dewey

There is truth to the trending topic of teachers teaching the value of failing intelligently, one of the top 10 education career trends for teachers.

As for self-evaluation, this process allows you to step successfully into your students’ role, their parents and your superiors entrusted you to take care of with expertise. If you don’t take the time to evaluate whether or not your students understand what you impart, your effort and time will go to waste. This process is fundamental if you have ‘at risk’ students who need more attention.

Another reason to evaluate yourself is to enhance your skills as an educator. As an expert on a subject, you understand what you’re trying to say. Your students are another story, though. By asking for their feedback, you’ll be able to discover problems in your teaching style and begin fixing them. However, don’t request feedback if you don’t plan on improving accordingly.

Not only will you offend the people you’ll be working with for the rest of the school year, but you’ll teach your students that reflection and self-evaluation are useless tools.

Opening up to self-evaluation will help close the gap between you and your students. They’ll discover you are a learner with successes, failures, frustrations, and concerns. As a result, they’ll feel safe about sharing what they think. Remain patient and attentive while listening to students’ queries and celebrating mistakes, emphasizing they lead to learning opportunities.

Finally, combining your reflections and self-assessment results lets you gather better data and opinions while strategizing with your supervisor. They will guide you on the best methods and share valuable advice from their experience.

In addition to advancing your career through relevant information, regularly touching base with your supervisor will show your dedication to your students and job. Rest assured, your passion for reflective teaching and helping students won’t go to waste, and you may receive a better compensation package in the future.

The Process of Self-Reflection in Teaching

Once you decide whether to reflect on a specific feature of your teaching or a particular problem in your classroom, you can begin collecting information on the feature or problem. This knowledge lets you determine what you’re up against and take necessary steps, such as the following.

A Journal – A self-reflective journal is probably the easiest way to track the success level of the lesson. After class, jot down a few notes detailing your reactions, feelings, and any observations identified about your students. To ensure your assessment’s consistency, break down your journal into sections like lesson objectives, classroom management, and materials.

Video Recording – A valuable method to facilitate self-reflection, video recording is probably the best. It gives you an unbiased view of how practical your lesson was from both a teacher’s and a student’s perspective. While viewing the video footage later, you may encounter odd behavior you didn’t catch while teaching.

Student Observation – Students love giving feedback, so provide them with the opportunity to share their opinions. Hand out a survey or questionnaire that allows them to express what they feel about your lesson. Remember to write the questions in a way that enables them to express their thoughts thoroughly.

If you think your students won’t fare well writing their thoughts, conduct focus-group interviews or have an outside person take over instead to ensure objectivity. Ask the questions you have in mind and probe the students to get more detailed information and clarification. Only choose this path if your student-teacher relationship is strong and built on trust.

If you’d rather not be as direct, you can evaluate your technique and how well your students are learning by looking at their assignments and test results, provided they’re well-designed to measure students’ learning achievements. Conduct verbal tests after each class; ensure every student participates.

Peer Observation – Have a colleague observe your teaching. As the observation is more casual, you’ll be able to teach naturally, and your observer will be able to provide insight into your instruction. Since your colleague is as busy as you are, create a questionnaire using questions like those below so they can fill it out as they observe.

Was the lesson too easy or too difficult for the students?

Have you taught to make sure students understand the content?

Did any issues arise in class?

During which parts of the lesson did the students seem most engaged?

Which parts didn’t seem as impressive or compelling?

Do you think the materials used in class helped? Which were the most useful and which didn’t work in the lesson?

Do you have any suggestions for better materials I can use?

Were my lesson instructions clear?

Was I delivering the course material at a reasonable pace?

Did all the students participate in the activity?

How practical was the lesson overall? Do you have suggestions on how I can improve to encourage more involvement or increase learning?

How well do you think I managed to handle problems during instruction?

Do you think I was perceptive and sensitive to my students’ needs?

How were my attitude and delivery overall?

After collecting this information, you should begin analyzing it. First, look for recurring patterns. Did your camera record something that kept happening several times during your class? Are several students pointing out the same issue in their feedback forms? Jot down areas that need change and start looking for solutions.

Two excellent sources you should explore are:

Colleagues – Peers will offer valuable advice, especially since they may have faced the same issue. Even if they didn’t, they’d provide you with a list of tips on how to do things differently.

World Wide Web – You can use the Internet (capitalized, I think it’s a proper noun) to locate resources explaining and solving your challenges. Use the World Wide Web to find other teachers on blogs and social networks. By interacting with them, you can ask questions and discover exciting answers.

Remember that the goal of this is for you to improve how you teach. Therefore, make sure to implement any changes to your technique or delivery before your next

How to Effectively Plan Your Self-Evaluation

Subjecting yourself to teaching strategies and instructional techniques for your critical evaluation isn’t enough. After all, you’ll only develop a checklist that allows you to focus on ideas instead of formal structure. For the latter, you need self-evaluation. This more precise method requires more planning since it can help you improve the educational experiences you provide while highlighting the education you’ll need to develop your capabilities and teach well.

To plan for your self-evaluation, use the following five steps.

Define the Context of What You Will Teach

Describe the lesson’s objectives or course, detailing information about the purpose of the assessment and intended uses.

Identify the Stakeholders

Mention those involved (e.g., students, department, instructors, etc.) and list their needs. Recognizing this will allow the assessment process to grow more focused, maximizing the benefits of this procedure.

Establish Central Questions

Determine the purpose of the evaluation by devising broad questions. These questions will help you establish how the assessment should be conducted.

Mention How You Intend to Use the Assessment Results

Establish how you will use the results for each of your fundamental inquiries. Ensure users relate directly to the assessment’s purpose.

Create an Assessment Plan

In this step, you’ll create a plan which includes an overview of how the research will be implemented to reach the objective.

With a plan, you can begin your analysis through paper and pencil classroom assessments, document analysis (for syllabi, exams, etc.), observation, surveys, and even product analysis (examining portfolios or objects designed to demonstrate learning).

The Bottom Line to Advancing Your Career

Self-reflection and self-evaluation are necessary for any teacher who wants to become a capable educator and efficiently advance their career. Both practices are necessary if you value your students and effectively share your knowledge. Enjoy their benefits by practicing them regularly and acting on their outcomes. Start assessing your teaching skills before your next class to join the ranks of great all-star educators.

Using this beneficial strategy, include your experience and success in implementing self-evaluation and reflection when writing your resume and cover letter.

While on the blog, you can read ten resume-writing tips for teachers.

Learn more about Candace Alstad-Davies by reviewing this about me page. From that page, you can review testimonials and frequently asked questions.

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Send an email if you like, or call me toll-free at 1 877 738-8052.

I would enjoy chatting with you.