During the school year it’s hard to find time to slow down and reflect on instruction and classroom management. Sometimes it feels like self-reflection is just a “bonus” activity or something that can be saved for last-if there’s time.
However, self-reflection is a necessary part of the learning process. This is how we learn from experience. Since this spring was many of our first experience with distance learning or remote teaching, there is a greater need than ever for that reflection.
What to Ask
What’s working- think about the ways in which things are going well. It’s important to recognize and celebrate your successes. That allows you to validate what you’re doing.
What’s not working- determine your areas for improvement. Teachers are almost always overly self-critical here, so don’t be too hard on yourself! Also, try to focus on things that are in your control. Sure, I can think of some really big picture ideas that aren’t working, but most of those are outside my sphere of influence.
What are my next steps– Once you determine what is and isn’t working, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to change or do differently. You certainly don’t want to try to change everything in just a year, but it’s essential to continuously refine our instruction.
I’m currently in the throw all the possible ideas out there part of the process. I have a single sheet of paper full of ideas. It’s totally and completely disorganized with to rhyme or reason to anything. If someone found it, they’d definitely mistake it for trash. That’s okay, I’ll clean it up later. Right now, I’m just making sure I don’t forget any of these new ideas.
Since distance learning is so new to many of us, it’s also helpful to get students’ perspectives on things. Normally, I can read the classroom and my students easily, but it’s much more difficult to get a feeling of how things are going with our students when we’re not together.
To help see my students’ self-reflection, I created a Google Form that gives students the opportunity to share feedback about their experience with distance learning.
You can download a copy of the form here. Once you make your copy, you can change the questions.
If you’re looking for more ideas for distance learning and remote teaching, don’s skip this post! It houses links and overviews for all of my distance learning posts!