Reflective Teaching for Effective Learning
Reflective teaching is an important tool in helping you examine your role as an educator in order to both celebrate and sharpen the value you bring to teaching. Fundamentally, reflective teaching is about looking at what you do in your classroom, thinking about why you do it, and considering whether this approach works for your students and for yourself.
Reflecting gives you the opportunity to collect information about what goes on in your classroom. Through analyzing and evaluating this new information, you can identify and explore your own practices and underlying beliefs, which may lead to changes and improvements in your teaching.
The process of reflection follows the natural learning cycle:
- Self-assess the effect of your teaching on learning
- Consider new ways of teaching that can improve the quality of learning
- Try these ideas in practice
Adding this kind of reflective practice to your teaching is arguably one of the most important ways you can take your professional development into your own hands. Effective teachers are the first to admit that no matter how good a lesson is, their practice can always be improved. Research has shown that teachers who do not question and actively consider what their experiences mean tend not make any changes and end up stagnating.
Here are a few ways to help you self-reflect on your teaching:
- Ask your students reflective questions at the end of the lesson that will give you feedback on your teaching.
- Include self-reflection at the end of each lesson. Take time to analyze the experience and its effectiveness.
- Team up with another colleague so you can draw on the other’s expertise and offer each other support.
When we fail to reflect on our lives, we lose perspective, get caught up in things that do not matter, and often lose sight of the things that are most important. The same holds true for teaching. Reflective teaching can help you as you look to refocus on what’s most important to you in your classroom community.
Written by Ramona McCullough, Responsive Classroom Educational Consultant, and CoachTags: Positive, Reflection, self-care