Why Should Teachers Self-Analyse Themselves?
We would all like to be the perfect ITTT English teacher. However, various dynamics could at times affect our best intentions and love for teaching.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Jenny H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The reality is that relocation to another country will be involved to pursue an ITTT English teaching career abroad. Whilst this opportunity will present with much excitement, it would also not necessarily be without its stresses.
Further to this, there will be many extended hours involved in the preparation of various learning materials, tasks, progressive tests, and daily lesson planning for an effective learning experience to develop the skills for an English learners class. These additional hours could result in tiredness and the extra hours may often encroach into the teacher's social lives or family time. As the course is not defined by any age group, some teachers might only decide to embark upon this journey later on in their life which means that they may have their children. Others during their teaching career might be dealing with a personal issue or an unforeseen circumstance along with a new establishment, administration, diverse backgrounds, and the stress of classroom management.
Teachers are human and are not immune to the aforementioned and the other general stresses of life. This by no means insinuates or implies that they should reconsider their vocation. It merely emphasizes the need for self-analysis.
Why is it important for teachers to self-analyze?
It is important for teachers to self-analyze so that no matter the circumstance, they can always "put their best foot forward". The self-evaluation of a teacher's successes and failures, strengths, and weaknesses, will allow them to grow personally and as an educator. This continued process will help the teacher to evaluate their teaching performance and will also determine whether they have met their desired goals and objectives.
Learning is a “two-fold” process and identifying any areas that might need improvement through self-analysis will help to prevent the teacher from falling into the rut of complacent teaching. Self-evaluation will also motivate teachers to make their classes as enjoyable as possible.
Teachers are role models for students. They have to exercise care, extreme patience, kindness, offer support, and be understanding at all times. Their goal is to promote learning in a safe environment, to encourage and motivate their learners across different age groups and English levels in a lively, fun, and interesting manner to develop the learner's language skills.
How can we accomplish these goals?
As we evaluate our students, so should we also be open to evaluating ourselves to optimize the effective learning process.
A self-evaluation is an integral tool for the assessment of a teacher's strategic planning, classroom performance, student involvement, interactive feedback, the learner's development, and the overall success of a lesson.
The student's evaluation of the teacher and class lessons is a valuable contribution to the teacher's continued self-analysis process. It will encourage the teacher to be mindful of their needs to ensure that all students learn more effectively, as the teachings can be more adapted to suit them for their maximum progress. This better insight will also assist in reducing conflict situations in the classroom.
Also Read: A Road Map to Language Acquisition
Here are two examples that can be used in a teacher's self-analysis assessment.
A video recorder can be used during a class. Filming a lesson will be helpful to the teacher as he/she can then replay it after the end of the class lesson for their assessment to determine the quality of the lesson in their evaluation. This will give him/her a visual as well as an audio reference of the teacher’s rapport and interaction with the class, the learner's involvement in the activities, the teacher’s attitude and clarity, plus he/she will be able to observe any class feedback closely and they will also be able to see and “zoom in” to any “stumbling blocks” which can be addressed in future lessons, to keep the best interest of the learners at heart.
Once the teacher has completed their evaluation and prepared notes for their reference, they can then use this video as material for a lesson by replaying it to the learners for the class discussion as an engagement activity for their feedback.
Another assessment tool would be for the teacher to put a suggestion box in the classroom. Students might be a bit reluctant initially to share their true feelings or opinions during the class feedback sessions. The teacher can periodically hand outage and English level appropriate questionnaire forms for the learners to complete as an activity which they can then slot into the box after the class without including their name. By doing this they will not feel uncomfortable or intimidated about their suggestions. This will show the learners that as a teacher you are willing to make improvements, consider their suggestions and that you are committed to the continued learning process.
Again these feedback forms can be used after the teachers have done their self-reflection and analysis evaluation assessment reports around using the information provided for a future class activity. This engagement stage can be done as a fun activity which will boost the learner's confidence levels and motivation when the students realize how valuable their input is to the teacher. They will then be more encouraged to share their personal opinions and suggestions going forward during the class feedback sessions.
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Teaching is a noble profession that helps to shape the character and lives and constructs the skills for the successful future of an individual. It is therefore vital to keep growing and learning as a professional educator and to rise to any challenges in an ever-evolving society. This can be only done through various continual self-analysis and reflection assessments for rewarding and enriching teaching experience and for the significant achievements of the future generations of learners.
In conclusion, I end with a quote by Carl Buechner “They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel”.
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