Although this week’s midterm break should give teachers and students alike a well-deserved rest after three months of hard work, teachers can take advantage of this free time and consider some important questions before class resumes on Monday. Although big changes aren’t always necessary, everybody has room for improvement and making a small change to your teaching can have a big impact on your class. The questions below will stimulate teachers to think critically about what they and their classes are doing and make positive changes this midterm break.
1. Am I getting what I need from my students?
Every teacher needs quality work and engaged participation from their students, and now is the time to consider whether your students are doing their best. Identify students who may be struggling and decide whether any particular topic or skill has been problematic for the class as a whole and needs to be revised.
2. Are my students getting what they need from me?
This can be a difficult question for many teachers to answer, but asking yourself if you are spending enough time on each topic and challenging your students along the way will identify important improvements that can be made this midterm break. Staying organised allows teachers to provide their students with the education they deserve.
3. Am I where I planned to be at this stage?
Most teachers have either a formal plan for the year or a rough idea of what topics should be covered by the midterm break. Are you where you expected to be? Why or why not? Understanding where you are in relation to your plan for the year will allow you to adjust your future plans accordingly.
4. Where do I plan to be by Christmas?
If you’re not on schedule at this stage, do your plans for November and December need to be adjusted? Make a schedule if you haven’t already or change your original plan if necessary, and identify the most important topics that need to be covered before Christmas.
5. What am I doing well?
Remember to congratulate yourself on the work you’ve done so far this year! Try to maintain the best aspects of your teaching after the midterm break and consider how these aspects can be applied to other topics or areas.
6. What could I do better?
Even the best teachers have room for improvement, and even small changes can improve your teaching – don’t force yourself to make big changes if none is necessary! Common areas of improvement include general organisation and timely marking of homework and tests, so ask yourself if you could improve in these areas.
7. What is the general atmosphere in my class?
Teachers don’t often get a chance to evaluate the atmosphere of their classroom when class is in full swing, so the midterm break can provide an excellent opportunity to consider this question. How much do you contribute to the class atmosphere and how much is created by your students? Decide how you can create and maintain positive feelings and high energy levels.
8. Do I need to draw on more resources?
This is another question that tends to be neglected during class time. Identify supplies and resources such as educational websites that will improve your teaching and ask for help if you can’t obtain these resources on your own. Remember that no resource should be used for its own sake and ask yourself whether its presence will improve your teaching.
9. What can I change?
Not all changes will lead to improved teaching, but shaking things up halfway through the term can increase interest and energy levels in the classroom. Consider changing simple aspects such as seating plans and class structure, and ask your students for ideas to increase their involvement in class.
10. How can I improve communication?
As I mentioned in my post “Connecting Students, Teachers And Parents With Edtech”, communication is the key to success. Make sure that you’re communicating efficiently with students, parents, and other teachers, and consider setting aside time before, during, or after class to address student questions and concerns.
Answering even some of the above questions this midterm break can give your class a boost and ensure that the rest of the term is enjoyable and productive. What questions are you asking yourself this week? Tweet us @adaptemy or visit our Facebook page and let us know!