Sunday, November 2, 2014

The LAST of my Reflective Teaching Posts-Becoming a Reflective Teacher -Part 6

Do you really WANT to be a good teacher, or a GREAT teacher?
     The best advice I have for you is to watch a great teacher. Watch them as they model for you the secrets of their success. Don't try to copy them, you can't. That is their style, but I know you like the way they transition from one activity to another seamlessly. Watch them , take notes and reflect on how that will look like in your classroom.
     Another strategy for you to try is "Coaching Colleagues". This is when two or three teachers get together and agree to  give each other HONEST feedback regarding their use of instructional strategies. Some call this peer coaching, Marzano quotes another researcher Robbins on page 77 which means "a confidential process through which two or more professionals work together to reflect on current practices; expand, refine, and build new skills; share ideas; teach one another; conduct classroom research; or solve problems in the workplace"  I know this sounds like it could get sticky, but you have to trust your peers, especially the ones you really look up to, the ones you want to be like when you 'grow up'.
      A great way to really see and reflect is the strategy of instructional rounds. This is not for the faint of heart. In this strategy your peer coaching team examines videos of other teachers and each other  and discusses the best practice strategies in each video. During instructional rounds you can also visit each other's classrooms to see your peers in action. After the visit, you then engage the group in a discussion, reflection and draw conclusions about your own best practices.Make sure the instructional rounds are not about evaluation, but rather focused practice on good teaching skills.

My hopes for this series were to help you focus on what you do best for yourself, your children and your school.

  • Are you being the best teacher you can be? If not, it's time to get uncomfortable and s t r e t c h
  • Do you have a model of effective teaching? Who is your mentor? 
  • Do you have good growth goals for your kids and yourself?  What kind of goals are you setting?
  • Do you engage in focus practice? What do you do better than anyone else?
  • Are you receiving and giving focused feedback? Do you ever see yourself?
  • Who is the last 'best' teacher you observed teaching? Time to look around you and get some ideas!
Reference:Marzano, R. (2012). Becoming a reflective teacher. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory.

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