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Be constructive, not critical.  While focusing on the positive, you shouldn’t entirely disregard the negatives. After all, if we do not reflect, we cannot learn from our mistakes. But take steps to ensure that you are solution-oriented and constructive, rather than dwelling on tiny errors and bringing yourself down. I tend to work best when I write things down: if I feel bothered about a lesson, for example, I will write out ideas of what went “wrong” and why.  Was the lesson appropriately accessible, given students’ prior knowledge, vocabulary, and skills? Did I scaffold appropriately? Did the lesson challenge students and push them to their “edge of competence”? This gives me a place to identify where the lesson can be changed before I try it again, and it allows me to make sure my instruction fits my students. This also makes me feel successful as a teacher, and growing as a professional in my craft.


To read tip #3, click here.

Dana Dooley teaches high school AP Government, Government & Economics, and Yearbook near Sacramento,...

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