This was a great workshop given by Colin MacKenzie at the recent TESOL France colloquium. Colin asked some very useful questions and really got me thinking, and is especially useful at this time of year when many of us are looking to improve our teaching habits in the New Year.
Colin recommended journalling your answers to the following questions and see what comes up:
What areas are you good at?
I think I am good at encouraging critical thinking – I try to play devil’s advocate and push students to think a bit deeper. I’d like to think I support students who need a little extra.
What do you enjoy doing?
Having a laugh! Project work, fun class activities.
What are your positive characteristics?
I’m open-minded, positive, have and encourage a growth mindset. I’m hard-working and want to make a difference.
What are you not good at?
I talk too much, I don’t listen enough, I’m not very organised and waste time looking for stuff I’ve mislaid. I also have to make an effort to follow through projects I start.
What do you NOT enjoy doing?
Marking! And a lot of the testing we are supposed to do in our school, it takes up a lot of learning time.
Characteristics that hinder you?
I’m a starter not a finisher and have a monkey brain!
How would you like to improve?
I plan to organise my CPD better next year and find time to read more articles and research. I’d also like to think of different ways to go about evaluation.
What’s stopping you?
Mainly time, which as we know is not really an excuse – we have the time to do anything, but not everything, so I guess what is stopping me is what I’m making a priority.
How can you overcome that?
By prioritising my priorities (easier said than done!)
SMART & SMARTER Goals:
As we know SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. To be even more sure of achieving your goals you should also be Enthusiastic about them and make them Relevant.
Colin also suggested declaring your goals to someone but from what I’ve read elsewhere the jury is out on that one, some suggest that telling people about your goals gives you the same feeling as if you’d already achieved them, thus making them less likely.
Let me know what your teaching resolutions are!