on Your Practice to Improve Student Achievement
Theresa London Cooper
As professionals, reflection is one of those essential habits.
Teachers have so many responsibilities that it is easy to forget
to stop and think about what you have already done, and without
time to reflect, it becomes difficult to note what you do well and
what needs refining. How does one step back to decide what requires
refining? Over the years, I have practiced several methods. Student
achievement is the focus that drives my reflection.
First, find a colleague or two who would like to be “critical
friends.” Visit their classrooms and have them visit yours.
Target a specific component of a lesson and decide on a format that
will allow for objective feedback.
Second, plan together. During this time you can engage in conversations
that will allow you to think about the best ways to teach lessons.
Third, provide samples of your students’ work. Use the standards
to evaluate the work and plan follow-up lessons.
Lastly, develop a practical system for collecting, analyzing and
using data to inform instruction and monitor student achievement.
How do you reflect on your practice?
For more on
reflection, read Making
a Practice of Reflection by Judy Jones.