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Reflect on Teaching Practices

Reflect on Teaching Practices


In this lesson, you will learn how to use teacher professional standards to reflect on your own standards based instruction planning, development and implementation

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Source: Zero, Pixabay,; Blue Figure, Clker,; Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,

Video Transcription

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Hello everyone, and welcome. The topic of this lesson is very near and dear to my heart. It's all about reflecting on teaching practices. When you finish this lesson, you'll actually have way more questions than answers, because that's how reflection begins. With questions. So let's get started.

I have always enjoyed writing, and a couple years ago, I took a leap of faith and started a blog. It's funny because up until then, I didn't even know what a blog was. It has given me the opportunity to share with whoever is interested my reflections about the job I love, teaching. My blog is organized in lists of 10, and sometimes I like to have a little fun with them. I am in no way comparing myself with the great educational researchers of our time that I will mention in this video, but I do have something in common with them.

Like them, I also believe in the value of examining my own practice to make refinements in order to better meet the needs of my students. We'll start with Charlotte Danielson and her model that has been adapted across the country and used as part of teacher evaluation systems.

The best teacher evaluation models are those that allow teachers to walk away with actionable feedback and offer time for discussion and reflection with an administrator. Here are six questions that will generate such discussions. Number one. Does my lesson demonstrate knowledge of my content and pedagogy? That question helps us determine if our work is free from content errors and we are using academic language.

Number two. Does my plan demonstrate knowledge of students? This will show an understanding of what is developmentally appropriate for your students, and the ability to differentiate for their needs. Number three. Does my lesson include instructional outcomes? What's the goal of your lesson? Can you tweak it just a bit in order to address multiple standards?

Number four. Does my lesson demonstrate knowledge of the use of appropriate resources? There are so many resources available online today. Are you aware of them all, and are you tapping into them? Question number five. Does the lesson outline a plan for coherent instruction? Planning is an essential component to any well designed lesson. With so much to cover, it's imperative that we streamline, overlap some concepts, and go further in-depth and double dose others.

And finally, number 6. Does the lesson include appropriate assessments? Are you using both formative and summative? We need to continue to develop assessments that provide us with the most accurate information possible in order for us to target the needs of our students.

Another example of self-reflection comes from Richard DuFour. He has developed five essential learning questions to assess any lesson. Keep in mind that, if you use these questions often, they'll become ingrained in part of your regular practice. Here's an example of a third grade lesson on comparing the New England states. Feel free to pause here to read it.

And now I would go ahead and ask these questions about that lesson. Is the objective clear? Yes, it is. Do I indicate how I will get them there? I would answer no to this one because I didn't indicate specific criteria. Number three. How will I know what the students know and are able to do? Yes, by listening to them in their group discussion.

The fourth question. What will I do if they're not? My lesson does not indicate what I would do if children cannot access the material, so I would answer no. Finally, what will I do if they've already mastered it? This lesson has differentiation embedded into it, so that question has been addressed as well. When it comes to grading in a standards-based classroom, it will look considerably different from that of any traditional reporting system.

Prior practices included so-called dirty data into their grading such as behavior, attendance, participation, homework, punctuality. To further the point about reflecting on your grading practices in a standards-based classroom, Douglas Reeves talks about the power of 0 and suggests that we should never use grades as punishment, and missing work should be completed, not given a zero. Also, placing too much emphasis on one assignment can be very detrimental.

You can also ask yourself questions that will help you determine if your classroom is a place for visible learning, as John Hattie suggests. Questions such as, are your learning goals transparent, are students aware of the criteria, and are you providing quality feedback.

Here's a summary of what we covered in this lesson. The main goal was to talk about reflection. We looked at the questions found in the Danielson model. We looked at DuFour's essential questions for looking at a lesson. We talked about reflecting on grading practices in a standards-based classroom, we introduced the power of zero, and we mentioned John Hattie's visible learning.

When all is said and done, and you've identified the areas in which you can grow, you need to ask yourself one more question, and it has to do with your own professional development. And that brings us to today's food for thought. What further learning or supports do you need in the future to improve standards-based instruction moving forward?

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply the course material. As always, thanks so much for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Reflect on Teaching Practices"

(00:00-00:16) Intro

(00:17-00:55) Reflecting Through Blogging

(00:56-02:33) Danielson Questions

(02:34-03:34) Essential Question Activity

(03:35-04:41) Reflecting on Grading

(04:42-05:09) Summary

(05:10-05:47) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

3 Questions to Guide Teaching Reflection

In this post from Teaching Channel, Sarah Brown-Wessling emphasizes that successful teachers have empathy, passion and grit. She indicates that successful learners are gritty, intellectually risk takers, and curious. She offers a reflective question for teachers as they evaluate their success and that of their students against these characteristics.

Professional Learning Bundle- Reflecting on Teaching

This wiki based on the HCPSS Teacher Evaluation Model offers strategies to use the Danielson Framework for Reflecting on Teaching Practices. Scroll down to the Activate your Thinking Section. Here you will find a variety of tools to help you reflect on how you use reflection to improve your practice as a teacher. Under Deepen Your Knowledge section you will find resources to support your understanding of the importance of reflection. Finally, under the Apply to Your Practice Section, you will have the opportunity to build a tool to reflect on your practice.