Mid-Year Reflection on Teaching
January 28, 2009
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Friday marked the mid-year mark. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve been and where I want to go with skills and content for the students and professional development for me. Some of the things I’ve discovered during this reflection on the year so far is as follows:
- I need to get on the communication train earlier. I need to be better at pulling students aside for progress conferences and calling home or emailing. I’ve done this, but not consistently and not early enough.
- There has to be a balance between skill development and content. I’ve been working hard at striking this balance. Some units and classes have been better than others. This will come with experience.
- I’m good at developing relationships with students and using that as a way to promote learning. By getting to know students and understanding them, I’m able to find ways to make things work for them.
- I need to balance my career and my life better. I’ve been feeling burnt out, but I’ve also felt like I have so much work to do. I need to be patient with myself and remember that it takes years to become a master teacher. One of my mentors says that there are no mistakes in your first seven years of teaching, only learning experiences. He’s got that right.
- A good teacher is also a good diplomat. I need to polish up my diplomacy skills, develop an exterior of perpetual calm, and not wear my emotions on my sleeve. I take my job seriously and sometimes I take things too personally. I need to be better at not taking constructive criticism to heart. I take it well when given, but I tend to dwell on it and doubt my ability.
That’s a summary of some of the things I’ve learned so far and need to work on. I’m proud the progress I’ve made, but there are lots of areas to grow in. It’s career-long work in progress.