Thursday, March 24, 2011

Get Out of the Rut

rutIn Looking Back and Forward from Educationally Minded, Anthony asks,

“Would you like a chance to reinterview for your job?”

When I read this, I immediately thought, “What a great idea!” I think many of us get into a rut when we have taught for awhile. I have heard the saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” but I don’t believe that applies to our teaching profession. I believe that we constantly need to look at our teaching practices, reflecting on them and reevaluating them. That is the only way to get out of a rut.

I think I would think of questions that I would ask someone interviewing for my job. I would want to know what their teaching philosophy is. What would make them an effective teacher in my classroom? I would want to know how they would meet my students’ needs. What successful behavior management techniques have they used? How would they communicate with the parents and with other colleagues about what is going on in the classroom? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How would they work to overcome these weaknesses?

Then I would take these questions and answer them as if I was the candidate for the job. I would be as honest as I could be. I would want the answers to truly reflect the way that I think others would see me as a teacher.

I would even discuss the answers with other colleagues about this hypothetical candidate. I would get their perspective on this person and ask if they would consider hiring this person if they had the opportunity. It would be interesting to hear their views about this person and the reasoning behind their decision. Then I would evaluate whether I would hire this candidate and clarify the reasoning behind my decision.

From these answers, what would I change about the way I teach? How could I be a better teacher? What works well in my classroom and needs to be continued?

I can see this being done at the end of every year. By doing this, I think I would be more successful in the classroom and not get into a rut where I’m doing the same thing every year. If it gets boring for me, I can imagine that the students pick up on this feeling and will develop the same attitude. Instead I need to be a good role model for change because change can really be good for all of us.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'the road home' by: garycycles

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