Teacher Self-Reflection is Hard. Here’s How Technology Can Help
There’s no overstating it: teacher self-reflection is crucial to teacher improvement.
Thinking constructively about their own teaching practices is key to educators continuously improving that practice. That’s the reason why teacher self-reflection is included in most schools’ professional learning standards and rubrics.
But, just because we know teacher self-reflection should take place doesn’t mean it’s easy. The self-reflection process requires dedicated time and thinking, which competes against preparing for teaching.
Luckily, technology can make the self-reflection process easier for teachers to effectively improve their teaching practices.
Technology such as AI Coach by Edthena can serve as a teacher self-reflection tool. The AI Coach platform features a virtual coach that guides teachers through a four-phase coaching cycle.
Through self-observation, analysis, and classroom action planning, teachers can utilize the AI Coach platform technology to make their self-reflection more effective.
This post highlights four ways technology and the AI Coach platform support teacher self-reflection, including analyzing teaching video and providing resources.
Teachers can’t reflect on what they don’t see and analyze
It’s pretty tricky to observe yourself when you’re the one at the front of the classroom.
A critical component of continual improvement and self-reflection is seeing yourself. Teachers can only self-reflect when they know how they’re teaching.
That’s know, not feel. Memories of a classroom lesson or conversation with a student aren’t accurate.
This is why many teachers capture video evidence of their classroom teaching. It gives them a detailed and full picture of what actually happened during a lesson or conversation.
But it can be hard for teachers to focus on just a couple of goals or to make meaning of what they see.
In the AI Coach platform, teachers have specialized tools to analyze their classroom teaching videos and then leave timestamped comments tied to their professional goals.
Technology supports educators with the analysis and meaning-making of their teaching, the first step to teacher self-reflection.
Teacher self-reflection should include identifying what’s going right
Educators often take a heavy-handed red pen to their teaching practices.
Teachers want to continuously improve but they can be the first ones to be overly critical of themselves.
Growth can’t occur when a teacher feels like everything they’re doing is wrong.
Having the mental space to self-reflect requires acknowledging what’s going well, too. Teachers must know what’s already effective.
Technology can help teachers focus on the positive.
AI Coach by Edthena addresses this when teachers are analyzing videos of their teaching inside the platform. Edie, the virtual coach, explicitly prompts teachers to find and tag moments of strengths they see.
In this way, teachers are providing themselves the positive reinforcement they need to build off their strengths. Identifying strengths adds motivation to do the work of making changes in teachers’ teaching practice.
Teacher self-reflection isn’t just about self-critique. It’s about taking an honest look and analyzing their teaching–including the bright spots.
Accessing curated resources can help teachers take action in their classroom
Once teachers identify their strengths and a specific area they want to improve in, it’s time to develop an action plan.
However, if educators don’t have ideas for how to implement their goals, their self-reflection can lead to looking through a mountain of resources all throughout the internet.
This is what we call the research rabbit hole.
For example, a search for “better checks for understanding” returns back 4.9 billion results.
Teachers don’t have time to spend poring through articles. And how do they know which resources are the most helpful for a specific need for improvement?
Edie, the virtual coach, solves this by providing teachers with curated resources targeted to their personal goal area.
With vetted research and strategies for their specific needs, teachers have the resources they need to develop action steps based on their self-reflection.
Using technology to save time not searching through billions of results means more time for students.
Teachers need help remembering to self-reflect
It’s not a secret: teachers have A LOT to do.
It’s mentally and logistically hard to make time for something like self-reflection that is not directly student-facing. Teachers need help prioritizing their own learning.
A benefit of technology and partnering with Edie the virtual coach is that teachers get help setting reminders. This supports following through with a coaching cycle so that teacher self-reflection actually happens.
Edie, the virtual coach, supports teachers to set realistic timelines for taking action on what they’ve identified as goals during the self-reflection process.
With automatic email reminders, the AI Coach platform helps hold teachers accountable to themselves for setting aside the time for their self-reflection.
Teachers want to get better, and technology can matches their intentions to continuously improve, even independently.
Are teachers getting the support they need to self-reflect independently?
We know teachers want to help kids. It’s why educators focus so much on continuously improving their teaching practice.
Even when they’re stressed out or stretched thin, teachers want to get better at what they do for students, from their instruction delivery to their relationship-building.
But teachers shouldn’t need to be alone even when they’re reflecting independently.
Yes, teacher self-reflection is about an educator considering and analyzing their own individual practice, but external guidance can be helpful for making the reflective process easier.
This individual growth can’t wait for the next check-in with an instructional coach or PLC meeting.
In between receiving in-person coaching or collaborating with the grade team, teachers need help being productive in their learning.
The AI Coach platform is a technology tool responsive to individual needs for teacher self-reflection.
Got more questions? Learn more about AI Coach by Edthena here.
Want to try it out for yourself? Sign up for AI Coach access here.