As educators, we need to consider that there are two very important parts to quality learning: questioning and reflecting. It makes for a healthy mind to question what you are thinking and learning. Reflecting on our learning is not only an important part of the learning process, but also an automatic brain process. In other words, our brain automatically considers what it is learning before it "files" information.
As a self-proclaimed seditionist, I am always questioning myself and the topics to which I am very passionate. Seditionist can be defined as one who instigates or incites, but I prefer to think of myself as one who is discontent. With discontentment comes the ability to make meaningful change. To begin your journey of reflection, introspection and change, I have created a list of questions for your consideration.
Ponder the answers honestly (after all, there is no good reason to lie to yourself), and then determine if and how you can begin to look forward to meaningful, professional change. Think of this survey as a means of change in 2016. Good luck!
- What gets you excited about going to work at school every day?
- How do you question old educational standards?
- How do you make changes based on your educational beliefs?
- When was the last time you taught a concept without using the textbook?
- What excuses have you used to not make changes to your teaching or classroom?
- What have you learned about yourself this past school year?
- What changes in your teaching are you going to make based on what you learned from last year?
- What would you do differently in your teaching if you had no state mandated accountability?
- Can you remember a school lesson from your past?
- Why do you remember that lesson so vividly?
- Have you had a recent lesson that you think your students will never forget?
- Is there any such thing as the perfect lesson?
- How often do you make educational decisions purely with the students in mind?
- Should you just do what is right for the students in your class regardless of consequences?
- If you could mandate a book to be read by all teachers, what would it be?
- Can you describe your teaching style in one small sentence?
- What is your best teaching quality?
- What are your personal teaching goals?
- How would you describe educational freedom?
- Do you love to teach? Why?
A true reflection of yourself and your teaching must start with honesty and a commitment to change, even if it is going to sting a little. A true model teacher must reflect honestly and set goals based on his/her reflections. If you feel so inclined, share some of your reflections in the Huffington Post comments section. Let us help each other move towards meaningful change through our reflections.