Looking forward to 2018? Teacher self-assessment starts with a look back at what you’ve done and then forward at the goals you hope to reach in the future.

You might be thinking that is easier said than done, but following this guide through the process of teacher self-assessment might be helpful as you reflect on how to be the best teacher you can be. There are some hard questions to ask yourself, and your teaching only benefits if you are honest when answering.

1. Are the learning experiences in my classroom genuine?

teacher self-assessmentEvery student has struggled with learning. Some memorize the facts and report them on a test, but can’t relate what they are learning in school to anything in their lives. Psychologists tell us that learners must be active to engage in real learning, and active learning takes place when students can make a connection between what they know with the new information being taught. Looking back on your classroom learning experiences is critical in teacher self-assessment. Did those experiences relate to the student’s life outside of the classroom? Were resources made available to push the students to take the lessons taught and apply them to real situations? For example, did you go beyond a test at the end of the textbook chapter on weather and incorporate research and discussion of the increase in hurricane activity in 2017 in your study of weather systems? If not, set a goal of connecting your classroom learning experiences with the outside world in more authentic ways. Students will be more likely to actually understand the concepts instead of memorizing and regurgitating information.