A new year!
Time for a fresh start. A clean slate. Back to the old drawing board!
2011 (is it just me or does that sound like science fiction?) – I watched Back to the Future series with my family over Winter Break. I love that the “future” in Back the the Future II is 2015. We’re almost there and I’m still waiting for my flying car!
Anyway, the start of a new year is as good a time as any to take a long look in the mirror and examine every aspect of your practice. Some aspects of teaching that can benefit from a critical inspection:
- Grading & assessment
- Assignments & lessons
- Late work
- Classroom management/ discipline
- Standards & main topics
When you do this, set aside all of your assumptions; thumb your nose at the status quo. We’re all creatures of habit and it’s usually easier to keep doing what you’ve been doing than to reinvent the wheel. And yet, that is sometimes EXACTLY what needs to happen.
Look at each practice one by one and ask yourself these questions:
- What do I do?
- Why do I do it this way?
- How well is it working? (Ask your students too)
- What are other ways it could be done?
- What are barriers to change?
- How can I learn more?
- What criteria should help me decide?
- What are my next steps?
I think you’ll unearth aspects of your teaching that exist only because they were the best solutions you had as a rookie (or even pre-service) teacher!.
That’s not a good thing…