Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Monday, August 08, 2005

Honest Self Assessment

by AJ

The toughest thing about teaching is that you rarely get honest and specific feedback. Students don't want to give you suggestions.. even if they hate you and the class they will usually keep quiet, sit at the back, and roll their eyes at you.

When this happens, you know you are not achieving excellence... but you dont know why.

So how to get feedback? Ive tried to use the blog to solicit feedback and have gotten a little... but not a lot. Certainly not enough.

So its time to try something new. Something potentially very painful.

Im going to videotape myself. Anyone who has listened to their own voice on tape knows how painful this can be. You think you are a charismatic god.... then you watch the tape and realize you are a spastic dork with a high-pitched voice and shifty eyes.

But its the only way. Growth is painful. Honest self-examination is painful.

But for those who hope to improve as teachers... I highly recommend this exercise. Videotape yourself regularly. Watch and critique those tapes regularly. If you have a brutally honest friend, watch with them and get their feedback.

This is the best way to assess your teaching. If you are like me, you'll be much harder on yourself than your students will.