Teacher Self-Analysis: Why is it Important?
"To be a good teacher, you need to love what you teach. Teachers are given the word not to put their thoughts to sleep, but to wake someone else's." - V. Klyuchevsky, Russian historian
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Zarina S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
A teacher who is able to learn will also be able to grow as a specialist, improve in his/her pedagogical activity and perfect his/her professional skills. The first and constant helper in this process is a teacher himself (herself). I believe that along with many well-known forms of improving the qualifications of teachers, self-analysis is one of the most effective ways of self-improvement.
A good teacher is interested in achieving the desired result of his/her teaching, which, first of all, should be aimed at the effective learning of the lesson by the students. Having chosen this profession, teachers devote themselves to the important mission of conveying the knowledge, the language (in relation to EFL teaching) and ‘continually strive to improve their skills and make their classes as enjoyable as possible’.
Some teachers might be pleased with their outcome and have the attitude that they do not need to change any of their teaching practices. However, for those teachers that are overachievers or who simply wish to achieve their best level, it is imperative that they reflect on what they taught, how they taught certain concepts, and how effective their teaching/instructional strategies were. No tool will be a better motivation for teachers than self-evaluation, which would help to maintain a thorough and honest assessment of the efforts made for each lesson.
Teacher’s Professional Development
Self-analysis is closely related to teacher self-education issues. There may well be times when teachers might face difficulties with the subject they teach (we never climb on top of the mountain in one jump, we all keep learning!). Such moments should not be neglected, but rather should be given time and necessary study since many students are usually sensitive to situations, where teachers do not have sufficient knowledge of a particular subject. A deeper study of the subject and careful preparation always bear fruit, as well as instill greater confidence in teachers and allow them to perform the task with a productive result. Knowledge is power! The main indicator of a teacher’s performance is, above all, a quality lesson. This is precisely what influences such criteria as students’ progress, their knowledge of the subject, their motivation. After the lesson, the teacher needs to carry out a self-analysis, determine what was successful and what was not. Having identified the most problematic issues, the teacher can eliminate the gaps that have arisen, outline measures to address the shortcomings, both in his/her own activities and in organizing the activities of the students in the classroom, and thus influence the quality of the students’ knowledge.
Through self-evaluation, teachers get the opportunity to look at their lesson as if from an outsider’s position, to purposefully evaluate their own theoretical knowledge, methods of work in their practical interaction with the class and specific students. This is a kind of reflection, allowing teachers to assess their strengths and weaknesses, define what improvements can be made and try to give their lessons a more effective style. Such kind of self-analysis, I strongly believe, is necessary for both novice teachers and experienced ones. To analyze self-performance in professional activities, teachers may use various self-evaluation forms available for their assistance or create one on their own, including whatever areas they feel require monitoring, modification, and improvement. One way or another, any evaluative approach adds a pedagogical component to the activity of a teacher, since it is the main method of knowledge. The teacher, analyzing his lessons, indicates an interest in high-quality teaching and a desire to improve his professionalism because self-evaluation is indeed a tool for improving quality in any field.
How Self-analysis Influences Teaching?
In conclusion, I would say that self-analysis with the purpose of making better teaching is an integral part of the hard work of each teacher. I agree with Marshall Brain’s ideas that ‘creation of a good class requires an immense amount of work’… and fair commitment including regular self-evaluation and appropriate actions of improvement. ‘You do not simply come up with clear explanations and examples and experiments for class off the top of your head. You work at this sort of quality all the time. You spend time with your students so you can learn about holes in their understanding. You read and write and create to build an exciting and interesting class every day. The only thing that would drive you to do that is a concern and respect for the students in your classroom’ (Emphasis on Teaching). And respect and care, in turn, lead to a more thoughtful and conscientious approach to teaching and conducting effective lessons.
Do you want to be a TEFL teacher?
Having passed the path of self-analysis and self-improvement, the teacher will be amazed at the changes and growth that has been achieved. Such achievements are only the impetus and incentive to maintain this assessment process for each lesson (as far as possible) in order to maintain constant excellence and a high level of teaching.
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