I ran smack into the article 10 Questions to Ask Yourself over at What Ed Said's Blog and it reminded me of what I feel is the most important thing you can do as a teacher to be the best you can be and to constantly improve:
What better time to start this process than the week I will meet my new students?
I started hosting student teachers from the local university several years ago. I initially agreed to it because I wanted to give back the great experiences I had as a student teacher (thank you Kim O. and Clayton H.!), but I have since learned that it is so much more than that. I have always been hard on myself which automatically produces (maybe even an unhealthy amount) of self reflection.
How could I have said that different?
How will I get better responses from the students?
Why is that happening? etc..
This reflection would go on in my head and, from time to time, spark discussions with some of the best whom I have taught next to (TD, DK, APR, SS) and learned so much from.
However, when you have a trained professional in your classroom like a student teacher, it has the possibility of bringing your teaching to an entirely new level--if you dare to allow it to happen.
I always teach my student teachers (and thanks to Dr. MEL, I have always had the best--no bias, of course), that reflection on a daily basis is the key to becoming a better educator. Oh, and I practice what I preach, so I am continuously demonstrating self reflection out loud with my student teachers to show them that, although I have been teaching for years and APPEAR to have it all under control, that I know there are improvements I can make on a daily basis to be the best teacher I can be.
So, head over to What Ed Said's Blog and ask yourself these 10 questions. Are there areas you could improve or maybe even just tweak a little? It's a new year, which means new beginnings, to be the best teacher you can be. Let's reflect on that!