Self-Analysis in Teaching EFL/ESL Classroom
Teachers need to continuously monitor and evaluate their teaching techniques so that they can better prepare themselves to address unpredictable situations, as well as set realistic expectations for themselves and their students. The ultimate objective is to improve the quality of the service that is being provided and guarantee the effectiveness of the overall environment, resources, communication, and teaching techniques. Self-analysis is also about identifying thinking patterns and habits that are counterproductive and why and how they can be managed. What is more, the practice of self-analysis certainly generates more motivation to dig deeper and begin identifying and addressing problems/drawbacks; ultimately, this entails taking ownership, responsibility, and control of personal behavior and classroom performance.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Desirae R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
I think it is important for teachers to be open to the use of new and different self-analysis techniques and to track their progress in order to take note of how they have changed and improved their teaching styles and classroom content over time. Moreover, it is certainly a good idea to try to combine situational (in the moment) reflection with post-situational reflections. On that note, it has even been recommended that teachers take videos of themselves teaching a lesson to improve the whole process of self-review. Perhaps also keeping a daily diary can help the overall self-reflection process. Additionally, teachers could and should also develop group-based sessions in which they would have the space to share their experiences and best practices, as well as reflect collectively on their self-assessments. The regular practice of self-analysis should improve our self-awareness; greater self-awareness is about accepting and learning from our own mistakes, becoming more aware of our own unconscious biases and improving our emotional intelligence.
It is rather curious that the topic of teacher self-analysis seems far less “popularized” in the media and on the internet in comparison to student self-analysis. It is fundamental for students to be aware of themselves and those in their lives as human beings with strengths/weaknesses, interests, preferences, ambitions; self-reflection opens up boundless opportunities for personal discovery and both personal and professional growth and development. Regular introspection/reflection is part of the active learning process and it is critical for our wellbeing in today´s fast-paced world that emphasizes the entrepreneurial mindset. Self-awareness and self-review is the key to critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, initiative and adaptability; it is also essential for a culture of effective teamwork and networking.
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Teachers do need to teach students how to do self and peer assessments so that they can identify their good practices and areas in need of improvement. Instructors should share among themselves and with their students their personal experiences with the self-assessment process. A healthy learning environment requires that students practice giving and receiving constructive reviews regularly. However, the only way that teachers can impart the values and techniques of self-analysis and constructive feedback to their students is if they practice it themselves. I believe that teachers can effectively coach and facilitate student introspection if they too have undertaken regular self-assessments.
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