miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016

Assessing Our Own Achievements
                                                       By Zarela Cruz

The culmination of the year is getting closer and closer; students are being persistently evaluated; and last but not least important, end-of- the-year exams are just around the corner. Perhaps a question to ponder is: Is it the time to assess only our students’ achievements or wouldn’t it be judicious to gauge our own ones as well?

How can we measure our own achievements?
As I pointed out before (see post Sep, 29th), most of our time is devoted to reach the set objectives, but, are we up to it? If we do not set our own goals, how can we demand our students to reach theirs? I do not mean at all to blame ourselves, what I do mean is to be consistent. At the beginning of the year, we should also prepare a list of the goals to be reached and also figure how effective we can be in doing it. We have to plan not only summative assessment, but also formative one; we have to be aware of the techniques we will implement and the reasons why we choose one or the other; we should be ready to make adjustments all along the year. Our achievement is not measured by how much our students like us, but how eager we are to expand their knowledge and to teach them not to be satisfied; to challenge themselves to get the well-known Krashen’s I + 1. That in itself will show us that we made our best effort.

Is being highly qualified opposed to being highly effective?
Not at all. Being highly qualified should be a starting point, but not the only one to be taken into account. Flexibility is the key concept that should lead our practice. Students highly rate a teacher who is able to inspire them by showing different strategies, one who is not afraid of trying harder and harder and who is capable of reflecting on their own performance. We do know that most teachers are perfectly proficient, but we do prefer the ones  whose techniques and styles can be perfected every time, that are never satisfied with what they already know, that are flexible enough as to allow themselves to find a more suitable way to educate. These are the ones that deserve our gratitude.

And now, YOUR TURN:
 Are you satisfied with what you have already achieved? If so, why? What else are you looking for? What strategies do you apply when you reflect on your own teaching?

Let us know what you think. Your expertise, your experience and your ideas are valuable to us!


Zarela Cruz graduated from Ricardo Palma University as a translator.  She also finished her masters studies in Linguistics and took some specialization diplomas in English and Spanish. She has also completed a number of online certificates:  Teaching the Working Adult, Online, Hybrid and Blended Education, among other self-study courses. She has taught different courses, programs and levels and has been a teacher trainer, a lecturer and online instructor. This article aims to reflect on the self-evaluation all teachers are expected to do to assess their own achievements.

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