Self-reflection is a process through which a person examines self and all its constituencies: interests, abilities and skills, values, beliefs, learning style, and mistakes, etc. It leads to better understanding of the self and the impact of one’s emotions and thoughts on actions, failure and success, and thus to more personal and professional development and growth. It also leads to more satisfaction and happiness.
As teachers, asking one’s self the right questions refines thinking, ideas, and practices. In a professional learning community (PLC) thoughts may develop through sharing and discussions. The outcome of this process is to set new goals, develop new perspectives, and feel comfortable to implement new teaching methodologies.
Following are some good questions for teachers to ask themselves. Teachers may write down their thoughts, keep it personal or publish them or share them with colleagues.
- What am I trying to accomplish with my students?
What are the long-term goals?
What are the short-term goals?
Do these goals relate to real life situations?
Are these goals meaningful to the learners?
How do these goals align with the school’s mission?
Are these goals SMART? (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely)
What do I learn/how do I benefit from achieving these goals?
- What do I support how students learn?
Do I truly understand the different ways students learn?
Do I deliver my content in ways that attracts and motivates all types of learners?
Do I diversity entry point for activities?
Do I allow choices of varied activities?
- How do I create a positive climate for learning?
Do I create a safe environment for mistakes as learning experiences?
How do I build strong, positive relationships with my students?
How do I engage and motivate all my students to learn?
How do I Inspire my students to learn and to continue their learning after they leave school?
- How do I nurture creativity and curiousity among students?
Do I tell my students what to think, or do I listen to their questions?
Do I give them answers to their questions or do I direct them to where they can find an answer?
Do I teach them critical thinking with no bias?
- What are the best teaching strategies that I use?
Are my teaching strategies the same all the time?
Are my strategies effective?
Are they engaging? Which method works best?
How do I assess my teaching?
- How do I know when my students have accomplished goals?
Have students reached their goals? My goals? The school’s goals?
What do we mean by success?
How do I measure success? Performance? Behavior? Outcome? Progress? Effort?
Do I measure knowledge? Intelligence, or skills?
- Feedback works both ways. How do I use feedback to improve student learning? How do I use feedback to improve my teaching?
What are the bases for feedback?
Is there a trusting relationship for giving feedback?
Is there a clear communication system to give feedback that includes respect and proper use of words?
How do I keep feedback constructive and positive?
- Am I competent to manage the classroom?
Do I understand individual differences?
Do I understand students coming from multicultural settings?
Can I manage conflict/bullying in the classroom?
- What’s special and unique about my teaching?
What makes me a special teacher?
How do I impact my students and how will they remember me?
- How will I improve my teaching?
What opportunities are there for PD?
Who will help me to improve?
What resources do I have?
How do I collaborate with other teachers?