It seems like a simple enough question, am I a good teacher? The question however is not so simple. Education is an area that is both measured and researched extensively so your impact as a teacher can be measured, compared and analysed in any number of ways, but what measures do we value most and which measures best define us as teachers.
I have been teaching now for 12 years. This is long enough for a student who started their schooling to now be at the stage where they are completing their schooling. I have taught a lot of students in a lot of subjects, some of these students have now been in the workforce for long enough to reflect on school at the time. I want to share some of the seemingly contradictory impacts of some of my current and my former students
Looking back at some of the examples above, which of the criteria in each example above do I use to measure my worth as an educator. Is it that I place more emphasis on the fact that some of my students are just not doing any work and therefore I am not doing a great job, or do I place greater emphasis on the idea that a student knew I would never give up on them. Do I place more emphasis on the fact that test scores have not improved, or do I place it on the fact that students are gaining a real love for mathematics as a result of my teaching. Do I place it on a huge increase in test scores despite no work being done in class and the student disliking the subject more than they had in previous years. How do I reconcile what these contradictory bits of evidence say about me as an educator? Do I see these contradictory bits of evidence in a different light to how others see them? Do I value only what can be measured or do I value more the stuff that cannot be measured? How do I truly know my impact as a teacher?
Mathematics Coach and Coordinator in Regional South Australia. Current driving the Empowering Local Learners project as a numeracy strategy from pre-school to senior secondary.
Opinions in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.