Reflection and Refinement in Remote Teaching

Are you constantly reflecting and refining your teaching practice?

So many teachers have not gotten the support they need to effectively teach remotely. What we do have is the gift of purposeful reflection that leads to changes in our craft. How can you continue to grow, learn, and improve hour to hour, day to day, and week to week?

Remote teaching is hard.

Remote learning is hard.

Since school started five weeks ago, I have constantly aimed to capture what I know about the 29 second graders in front of me and consider how to most effectively reach my students (virtually). I analyze and reflect on my teaching practice on my drive home, while I’m eating dinner, during my Netflix binge watching, and while I’m {attempting} to sleep. When student learning is at the forefront, you have to constantly reflect on the underlying assumptions of your practice and the impacts on student learning.

I have created the following categories to guide my personal reflection and intentional refinement of my teaching practice during this time. Consider the following statements and rate yourself (1-”I could use improvement.” to 5- “I’ve got this!”). Know that this could change hourly, daily, or weekly. But by simply reflecting on your practice you have infinitely more opportunities to grow.

Collaborating with colleagues

-How are you and your colleagues working as a team?

-What strengths do you each possess?

-Why are you each essential to your team?

-What can you do to lift up and support your colleagues?

Making personal connections with students

-What do you know about each of your students?

-How do you tie students’ personal lives into your lessons and make each student feel valued each day?

-What do students do that show you they know they are valued?

-Why are your students personal connections valuable to your classroom community?

Communicating with parents/stakeholders

-What are the first words in your communications with parents or caregivers?

-What is your purpose when you reach out to parents/caregivers?

-How do you build relationships and help parents/caregivers feel more connected to your classroom community?

-How do you reflect on and challenge your own assumptions and biases?

-Why are parents/caregivers essential to your role teaching remotely?

Engaging students in equitable ways

-How do you inspire curiosity, honesty, fairness, respect for diversity and appreciation of differences?

-How do you develop knowledge that is deep, multifaceted, situationally relevant, and connected to your teaching and students’ learning?

-Why do you plan your lessons the way you do?

-What types of assessments do you give and how do you ensure that students have equitable access to these assessments?

Putting it all in perspective

-Who are you? As an educator? In your personal life?

-Why do you do what you do?

-What do you need to feel successful in what you are doing?

-How do you welcome challenges in your teaching and improve your teaching over time?

-How do you optimize the way in which your instruction supports children’s development and learning?

-How do you value yourself and your time?

Mull over these questions. Which are you able to answer easily? Which are harder to answer? Come back to them another time and see how your responses change. No one knows how to teach during a global pandemic. However, through reflection and refinement you can be the best educator for your students in this time and this virtual space.

Keep being a champion! Keep being you!



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