Check Yourself, Assess Yourself

How often have you noticed that, after learning something new, you start to see that recent lesson manifested in reality? That has been the case for me recently, as I have been learning in my Master’s courses about educational assessment, and how various forms of evaluation can be applied in a classroom context. One of the most important manners of evaluation, which we perform often but don’t realize it in the moment, is self assessment, wherein we analyze the ways in which we perform or act, and gauge how effective we were, or how we could be more effective in the future. And of course, as we were learning of this evaluation method, I started to notice it taking place in my teacher candidate placement.

Working in a middle school humanities class, the courses are structured into blocks, with periods 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7 being grouped together. Each group has the same students in both periods, as the humanities class covers content areas for both language arts and social studies, effectively making it a 2-in-1 class. Between blocks 2/3 and 4/5 is a lunch break, which I have found helpful, as it gives me the opportunity to reflect on how the lessons went in the first block. So recently, as I was eating my lunch in between the two blocks, thinking about how I could make adjustments to the morning lesson so it would go smoother, I realized that I was implementing self assessment in a similar way to what we had been discussing in my master’s classes.

As I reflect on my use of self assessment in the classroom, I also find myself thinking about how important self evaluation is to a teacher, or at least, to a teacher who wants to be their best. I can imagine that after teaching for years and years, some teachers may start to stagnate in their growth, and stick to only the methods that they feel have worked best for them. But what should always be remembered, even by veteran teachers, is that teaching is a constant process of exponential growth, where you can never attain perfection. You will always be constantly changing your lessons and your craft, and the reason that is is because every student and every classroom is different. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for education. The best we can do is be as open as possible to improvements, so that we may reflect on our practice and find some ways in which we can change for the better. After all, the perfect teacher is one who recognizes that they are imperfect.

What are your thoughts on self assessment? How often do you think teacher’s should be checking their methods? Is it possible for a teacher to achieve perfection? Let me know down in the comments.

As always, have a great day!

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