Reflective teaching means to thoughtfully, carefully, and responsibly contemplate on our way of teaching, to self-assess, to plan and do what needs to be done.
It is, for me, thinking with the teacher’s heart.
- What do I want my students to learn?
- What do I want them to become?
- Are my teaching strategies effective?
- Are my teaching styles and instructional materials valued by my students?
- Is the curriculum effective?
- Am I providing them with appropriate learning environment?
- Am I helping them learn best? Am I giving them the tools to become self-directed empowered learners?
- What am I doing to identify their learning needs? misconceptions? learning gaps?
- What am I doing to address these?
- How can I motivate them more to be the best that they can be?
- Am I being the teacher that I ought to be?
- Am I equipping myself to master the content I am teaching?
- What else can I do to improve my teaching?
Without reflection, we may lose the right track. We may become the old school teachers who come to the classroom just to present the lesson, not really caring whether the students have grasped or enjoyed the lesson.
- With reflective teaching, we can identify and troubleshoot, with confidence, classroom problems.
- With reflective teaching, we can make necessary adjustments with instruction.
- With reflective teaching, we are guided as to what our next steps should be: what and how to refine, what to delete, and what to add in all aspects of our teaching.
- With reflective teaching, we’ll know how we can improve professionally.
- With reflective teaching, the cycle of planning, doing, checking and acting or continuous improvement is reinforced over and over again.
- With reflective teaching, we can share insights, “lessons learned” and “best practices” with co-educators and grow with each other.
With reflective teaching, we can answer the contemplative questions above, and be able to apply them in conducting assessment. With sharp reflective teaching skills, making day to day observations and interpretations on student’s performance and progress in class will be easier. With sharp reflective teaching skills, we’ll be able to know what assessments are more fitting and know how to conduct them more effectively. And through reflective teaching, we’ll know how to go about our teaching, and be able to align our instruction with the assessments that will help effectively facilitate teaching-learning.