Teacher Reflection Questions To Ask Yourself
As the school year comes to a close, it’s time to pause and reflect on your teaching practice. One of the best parts about teaching, for most teachers, is that each year you get to start over with a new group of students, with new challenges, and with those comes new opportunities to make a difference. Each year, you have the chance to grow and become better as a teacher. This why it is important to ask yourself teacher reflection questions at the end of every school year.
Why Most Teachers Avoid Reflecting:
But I have always done it like this! This is a common saying amongst teachers. And the most natural response I often give is: but do you have the same kids year in year out? Is society changing while your classroom stays the same? Is your school demographics changing and you are digging your heels in not to change with it?
Over the last few years, I served as a school site curriculum leader for literacy and have asked these same questions to the teachers I work with.
- Teachers that come into the new school year and just crack open the file cabinet and dust off lessons,
- Teachers that when data is discussed blame the “new” kids on campus,
- Teachers who are not preparing students for a world they will live in.
So many questions though, but these are important teacher reflection questions that need to be asked in order to effect change. But the most important question is:
What is the purpose behind the resilience?
Why ask Reflection Questions?
While we don’t always want to ask for feedback… it can be scary to put ourselves in that place of vulnerability, it’s important that we do. As it helps us look critically at ourselves and work to ensure better performance. While students often provide some of the most insightful observation we need to grow as educators, it is known that we are our own worst critic.
Change needs to happen because if we are co-creators in the classroom alongside our students, then it isn’t about us and us alone. As educators we need to keep students’ growth, learning, and engagement at the forefront of our minds and continuously develop ourselves, our practices, and our routines to ensure that they happen.
Reflecting on our students and the work they do is the perfect starting point to determining if our practices are working are not.
But, the type of feedback we receive depends on the questions we ask. In this post, you’ll find some important teacher reflection questions to ask yourself at the end of the school year.
Thought-provoking Teacher Reflection Questions
End of the year gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves:
- Did I see growth?
- Are my students incorporating strategies I have taught them?
- Is data reflective of what I have taught them (and what I see?)
- Is there evidence of my teaching on them?
The end of the school year should not be the only time to ask these questions. Other opportunities to glean information can be at the end of a lesson, end of the school day, quarterly, etc. In other words, find every opportunity to reflect on if what you are doing is serving the students that are currently seated in front of you waiting to learn. They really do want to.
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What Do You After Answering Your Teacher Reflection Questions?
After reflecting comes the plan of action. For me, that plan of action always includes time for professional development. Whatever content area you are in, I am a firm believer in joining professional organizations that serve teachers in your field.
For me, that is the International Literacy Association (ILA) and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). I try to attend one conference a summer as well as throughout the school year. At conferences, you get the opportunity to sit in to meetings and training with experts and researchers in the field.
Data is one driving point to determine future lessons. Data of past student performance on multiple indicators helps to determine what needs my students will have. Data serves a purpose. As language arts teachers, students should make a year’s worth of gains at the end of the school year and so often students’ growth becomes stagnant particularly in upper elementary and middle school years. Purposeful instruction help to provide students with what they need to continue growing academically.
So ask yourself some questions about the lessons, the books, the students, the practices that you use. Reflect then put a plan into action to make the next school year the best one yet!
Do you pause and review your practice and performance at the end of every school year? What teacher reflection questions helps your review your year? Share with us in the comment below!