Self-Reflection as a Teacher: End of the Year
Every teacher at the end of the year goes through many evaluations. Evaluations from the administration, from parents and from students. All of this input helps us adapt and improve our teaching style. But perhaps the most important thing to have at the top of your teacher end of the year checklist is a self-reflection as a teacher.
This will help you to refine your teaching style. It will allow you to focus on changes that you need to make to become an even better educator while also realizing your strengths to carry over to the next school year.
I like to have my students complete a teacher evaluation before completing my own self-reflection as a teacher. Teacher evaluations from students can be done at any age but the become more valuable with older students such as upper elementary and above. This is mostly because K-2 students tend to see the world through rose-colored glasses.
They tend to love their teacher despite everything and may not be able to offer much support in areas in which to improve. They also may not be able to identify their own learning struggles from the year and provide feedback on how they may have been better served in the classroom. (It can still be fun to see what they say though!)
It takes a little bit of thick skin to go through a self-reflection, especially a self-reflection as a teacher. I think it is because our jobs affect so many more people than just our boss. We need to ask ourselves if we did the best jobs for ourselves, our students, their parents AND our boss.
Teacher Self Reflection Questions
There are many different areas of self-reflection as a teacher you may want to focus on. For the best clarity, it is advised to answer a few questions from each category. Even if you think you totally rock at classroom management, for example, there may still be room for improvement or you may find an even better method!
Here are a few questions and categories to consider when completing your self-reflection as a teacher:
Teacher Self Reflection Questions About Yourself
- How was my general attitude throughout the year?
- What is something valuable you learned this year?
- What objectives do I feel that I covered well and which objectives did I need improvement on?
- Did my current lesson plan template provide me with the most clarity to plan or do I need to revise it?
- What standards did I struggle with teaching?
Teacher Self Reflection Questions About Your Classroom Management
- What positive reinforcement or reward did I use in my classroom that worked well? What didn’t work so well?
- How can I improve transitions (switching topics, moving students around the room, transitioning from lesson to practice, lining up, traveling around the school, etc.)
- What activities were unsuccessful throughout the year and why?
- What activities or lessons seemed to be “boring” to the students? (at least what you observed from the student’s behavior)
- Did the layout of the classroom (desk arrangement, teacher desk & center areas) help or hurt classroom management?
Teacher Self Reflection Questions About your Students
- What lessons seemed most engaging to students?
- What did I do to build relationships with my students and could I have done more?
- Did my students seem generally excited to come to my class? (think of this more in a personal sense rather than whether or not they liked the material)
- How well did I support students with special needs or differing abilities?
- When did my students tend to be most on task? Most off task? (“when” could mean time of day, type of activity, time of year or however you want to think of this… you may even reflect on this in more than one sense)
Teacher Self Reflection Questions About Your Lessons
- Did the students understand what was being taught most of the time? When did the most questions or difficulties arise?
- What lessons seemed to be too challenging or too easy for students?
- What is a lesson you were super excited about that totally tanked?
- What is a lesson you weren’t so sure of (or went wrong somehow) that actually turned out well?
- What lessons did you feel like you could have expanded on more or done better activities with?
Teacher Self Reflection Questions About Your Classroom
- What worked and didn’t work about the layout of my classroom?
- What was my biggest organizational challenge?
- What were my policies and procedures that worked well? Which ones need improvement?
- What are some classroom systems that worked or didn’t work? (student jobs, absent work process, turn-in procedure, grading system, etc.)
- What would I like to change or try out in my classroom next year?
Teacher Self Reflection Examples
Some schools require you to write a teacher self-reflection. Even if it is not required, you may find it helpful to answer these questions in the form of a letter. This site has many different teacher self reflection examples for all different types of teachers.
Have you completed a self-reflection before? What other questions do you think are important for self-reflection for teachers? Let me know in the comments below!