We all know as teachers and administrators that we need to constantly be working on our craft, whether it’s in terms of pedagogy, a particular subject area, or personal growth. Self- reflective questions are among the most powerful ways to accomplish this — in fact, questions are at the heart of every type of professional development. They’re also a great way to spark discussions and spur action.
So what are some thoughtful questions that teachers can ask themselves to keep growing as educators? Here are eight to consider.
What am I doing well, and how can I continue to improve in this area?
This is a great question to reflect on regularly. It’s important to celebrate our successes, but we also need to be honest with ourselves about how we can continue to grow. Reflecting on what we’re doing well and how we can continue to improve is a great way to stay motivated and focused. When we’re able to do this, it gives us a clearer idea of the steps we need to take to continue making progress. And that’s something we can all feel good about!
What areas do I need to work on?
We all have areas of weakness, and that’s okay! Recognizing our weaknesses is the first step in addressing them. Once we know what they are, we can start working on strategies to overcome them. As an educator, it is important to continuously reflect on your practice and identify areas that need improvement. However, this can be difficult to do on your own. We may be too close to our work to see its flaws, or we may be so focused on meeting the needs of our students that we fail to recognize our own shortcomings.
That’s why it’s so important to seek out feedback from colleagues, administrators, and even our students. By taking the time to listen to others, we can gain valuable insight into areas that need improvement. Only then can we begin to develop strategies for addressing these weaknesses. In the end, by recognizing and acknowledging our areas of weakness, we can become more effective educators and better serve our students.
What new things would I like to learn?
Whether it’s a new subject area or a new teaching method, there’s always something new to learn in education. Keeping our minds open to new possibilities is what helps us grow as educators. New technologies are constantly emerging that can help us be more effective in our classrooms. Online resources and apps offer new ways to engage students and tailor instruction to individual needs. At the same time, instructional methods are always evolving, and new research is constantly shedding light on how students learn best. It’s our responsibility to stay aware of these changes and adapt our practices accordingly. By doing so, we can ensure that our students receive the best possible education.
What are my goals for the year, and how am I going to achieve them?
It’s important to set goals for ourselves, both big and small. Once we have our goals in mind, we can start planning out the necessary steps for achieving them.
No matter what our goals are, taking the time to plan out how we’re going to achieve them is essential. By doing so, we increase our chances of success and help to ensure that we stay on track. So what are your goals for the year? And how are you going to achieve them? Start planning today and you’ll be one step closer to reaching your objectives!
Who are my role models?
We all have people who inspire us, whether it’s a colleague, a mentor, or even a student. Learning from those who have already achieved success is a great way to help us reach our own potential.
What challenges have I faced this year, and how did I overcome them?
We all face challenges, both in and out of the classroom. Learning from our challenges is what helps us grow as educators. For example, the pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate the way we teach, and the way we learn. It has been a challenge to keep our students engaged, and to maintain our own sanity! However, these challenges can be leveraged to make us better educators. They motivate us to be more creative, more flexible, and more adaptive. We’ve had to learn new technologies and new ways of teaching. Most importantly, we’ve had to remember why we do this job in the first place: to help our students learn and grow.
What have I learned from my students this year?
One of the best things about being an educator is that our students can teach us so much. They teach us patience when we’ve had a long day and they’re feeling extra energetic. They teach us resilience when we make mistakes and they forgive us. They teach us to find joy in the small things, like when they come back from recess with big smiles on their faces. They even teach us new things, like how to use the latest app or gadget. Our students are our greatest teachers, and by paying attention to what they’re teaching us, we can keep growing as educators.
What am I most proud of this year?
This is a great question to reflect on at the end of each school year. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and all that we’ve accomplished. Remembering our successes is what helps us stay motivated to continue growing as educators.
These are all great questions for teachers to keep in mind as they work towards professional growth. Asking ourselves questions like these helps us stay reflective and open-minded — two qualities that are essential for success in education. Other ways we can reflect on our practice include conducting self-assessments, seeking out feedback from colleagues and mentors, and keeping a journal of our successes and challenges.
Photo credit: Google Education