Reflection is the process of reviewing what you have already done and extracting lessons and principles from these various experiences. Surprisingly, this is a commonly forgotten skill in teaching. Teachers are so busy prepare for their next class or next day, that sometimes they do not take a minute to see what works for them and their students. Through the process of reflection, a teacher begins to grow and develop as an instructor. Reflection helps teachers to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Some basic questions to consider when reflecting on your teacher include the following…
- What did I do?
- Why did I do it
- How did it go
- Where do I go from here?
These kinds of question can be addressed through in a journal or whatever way works for you. As time progresses, it becomes natural to reflect and to develop a course of action for the future. Another term for this concept is mental planning, which is a focus on long term planning instead of daily planning. Experience teachers look more at the big picture of the course outline and course syllabus instead of focusing on the day-to-day lesson plan. This focus on the broader picture is due to experience and is important in student achievement.
In the beginning, it is important for people who are new to teaching to focus clearly on providing the day-to-day teaching with the end goals in mind. Knowing where you are going is only as useful as knowing how you will get there. Goals are good but it is the daily planning that gets you to your goal. While all this is happening, it is beneficial to think about how things are going in the classroom
Reflection may be one of the most important skills for teaching because it is through this trait that a teacher can identify their strengths and weaknesses. It is doubtful that a teacher is strong in all of the skills mentioned in this blog so far. Through reflection, a teacher can learn how to maximize their strengths while finding ways to develop and compensate for their weaknesses. Just knowing what you are good and bad t gives you an advantage when teaching. However, this self-discovery happens through reflecting on one’s teaching.