If you’re currently on the fantastic adventure that is the CELTA or TEFL course, you’re already in the thick of planning, teaching, and assessing countless lessons – all the while, probably on the verge of pulling your hair out. But fear not, fellow teachers-in-training, for there’s a super helpful practice that’ll give you the power to become a truly impressive teacher: self-reflection.
So, whack the kettle on and prepare your favourite cuppa, because today we’re going to delve into the depths of crafting a strong self-reflection on your teaching practice during the CELTA or TEFL course. Trust me, it’s a game changer!
What’s the story with self-reflection?
Not to be confused with gazing at your lovely mug in the mirror, self-reflection is the process of assessing your teaching practice objectively, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and finding ways to improve your skills in the classroom.
Why is it important? Well, put simply, if you don’t know what needs improving, how can you improve? This isn’t a one-shot deal either. Self-reflection is an ongoing process that you’ll come to rely on throughout your teaching career.
Cracking the code: How to write a strong self-reflection
1. Be brutally honest.
No one is perfect. You’re allowed to muck up – this is, after all, a learning experience. When writing your self-reflection, leave the rose-tinted glasses behind and be prepared to make a right old hash of things (figuratively, of course). If a lesson falls flat on its face, that’s alright; admit your errors and figure out the causes.
2. Focus on the positives too.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, my friend! Remember that you’re also here to showcase your strengths, so don’t forget to highlight what went well in your lessons. Include specific examples and how they benefited your students’ learning experience. Be chuffed with your successes!
3. Be reflective, not reactive.
Take a step back and give yourself some time to mull things over before scribbling down your self-reflection. Hasty reactions might cloud your judgement and cause you to overlook vital details. So, have a breather, and then confidently identify those areas for improvement.
4. Find your weaknesses, then target them.
Once you’ve identified areas that need some good ol’ fashioned TLC, actively target them in your future lessons. Keep track of how you’ve acted on your reflections and the progress you’ve made. This way, you’ll become a stronger teacher each time you take to the classroom.
5. Set realistic goals.
Let’s be real – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t become a teaching maven overnight, either. So, when setting goals in your self-reflection, have a chinwag with yourself and ensure that they’re achievable within a reasonable time frame.
6. Seek feedback from peers, trainers, and students.
They say it takes a village, and sometimes your own perspective just isn’t enough. Be open to feedback from your fellow trainees, instructors and even your students – they’re likely to have insights you might’ve missed.
7. Embrace consistency.
Writing a strong self-reflection should be a frequent occurrence throughout your teaching practice – it’s not just for special events! Each and every lesson will give you new insights into your teaching style, so make it a habit to engage in some quality self-critiquing.
So, there you have it! With these tips up your sleeve, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of self-reflection, and let me tell you, your future self and students will thank you for it. Crack on, shine in your teaching journey, and remember that reflection is the key to unlocking your full potential! Good luck!