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An occasional period of reflection is a useful activity for enhancing teaching. Maria leads you through an exercise to reflect on your teaching.
Welcome to this episode of Teaching and Learning Matters. This is Dr. Maria Yon from the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Today we are going to take a self-reflective approach to examine the question, “How is my teaching?”
Most instructors, both experienced and novice, ask themselves this question many times. I would like to lead you through a few questions to guide your self-reflection. I will provide a set of questions, then pause, giving you some time to think. So, get into a reflective mood and let’s begin.
First, let’s think about how you project yourself as a teacher. Do you show students that you enjoy teaching? How do you portray that? By being well-prepared? By showing enthusiasm, using innovative teaching practices, being considerate of students and their ideas? You may now pause the recording for some think time. You may want to jot down some thoughts and ideas.
Now let’s think about the attitudes and behaviors you expect of your students. Do they look forward to coming to class? Do they come prepared to learn? Do they participate? Do they listen to you and to their peers? Do they put effort into what they do in class? How do your attitudes and behaviors influence them? Pause the recording now if you wish.
Next, ask yourself, do students learn in my class? Do students feel like their time spent there has been worthwhile? Were they intellectually stimulated? Did they leave class having gained a new perspective or new appreciation of the content? How do you know if transformation has taken place? Pause the recording for some think time.
Finally, what would you like students to say about you to other students? “Take Dr. X. I learned so much.” “He’s really hard, but he’ll help you.” “She makes class so interesting. I think I am going to change my major.” What do you want them to say? Are you already there? If not, what do you need to do to move in that direction? Pause and think.
I hope that you have found this exercise useful in reflecting about your teaching. An occasional period of reflection session is a useful activity for enhancing teaching. It’s sometimes difficult to do on a hurried schedule, but you will reap the rewards.
Thanks for listening and remember—teaching and learning matters.
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