15 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Teaching to Improve

Perhaps your previous school year went well and your teaching was amazing. Maybe you think it wasn’t and it went poorly. Maybe you can describe your previous school year and evaluate your teaching with different adjectives. Maybe you were not conscious about your performance.

So here are some questions to help you reflect on that school year so that you can be aware of what had happened and then can do your best in summer to make the next school year better.

  1. When were students at their best and how did I know?
  2. When did I notice myself doing the best and how did I know?
  3. What were classroom management strategies I used and were they successful?
  4. What did I do to save time as a teacher? Did I succeed?
  5. What are the key things that affect my effectiveness as a teacher?
  6. What was my teaching philosophy and was it reflected on my teaching practices?
  7. How was my relationship with my colleagues and how did it affect my performance?
  8. How was my relationship with my students and how did it affect their performance?
  9. How did I spend time inside and outside the classroom and how did I know that I did the right/wrong things?
  10. What did I do to motivate students to do what I asked them to do?
  11. Of the things that I didn’t do last year, which one was most worth my time to do?
  12. Could I affect my students and changed their lives positively? What should I do to do so?
  13. Did I succeed in making teaching fun for me? What should be done to feel so?
  14. What am I most excited about for the next year? Am I prepared for it?
  15. What is the one “big idea/thing” I should focus on during this summer to improve my teaching?

Top Seven Things for EFL Teachers to Do During Summer Vacation

It is your right after a lot of effort you did as a teacher to relax during summer vacation but it is also a chance to reflect on the previous year, prepare yourself for the coming year and develop your teaching skills. Here are the best seven things you can do in order to get the most benefit from the summer months.

1. Do Something for Yourself:

Start your summer vacation by doing something to recharge yourself and raise your enthusiasm. Go to the beach or on a series of picnics. Take care of your body by doing gym. Practice your hobbies individually or with your close friends. Recall your happy memories with your friends and relatives. Write down your dreams, ambitions and what you’ve achieved up till that point of time.

2. Keep Informed With Your Profession and Specialization:

Keep reading the news, latest publications, periodical journals, and educational magazines to know what’s happening in the field of education in general and in teaching EFL in particular. This up-to-date information could mean a big change in your tomorrow’s classroom practices. Write down your vision, opinion or comment on what’s going.

3. Inspire Yourself:

Remember that you are a professional person and you like your profession. Raise your positive attitude toward your job by reading about great educators and their success to make a difference in their surrounding world. Check out some inspirational books and movies. Plan to read and watch what can make you proud of being a teacher.

4. Reflect on Your Last Year’s Teaching Experiences:

Think back of your teaching experiences in the classroom and of how you were dealing with your various students. Write down aspects of success, what you did poorly and the challenges you encountered. Assess your classroom work. Look back at how you were teaching inside the classroom to see where you can increase your effectiveness and decrease time off task. Examine the lows and critically think about what you could do to avoid these situations in the next year.

5. Continue Learning About Your Profession and Specialization:

Set the goal of mastering teaching EFL by doing the following:

  • Enroll in EFL classes.
  • Pursue a Master degree in teaching EFL.
  • Attend seminars and workshops.
  • Read about the topics you teach.
  • Read about the latest trends in teaching EFL.
  • Attend online classes in EFL teaching.
  • Read online materials that renew your EFL knowledge.
  • Download and read e-books.

6. Volunteer at a Summer Programme:

Just because the school year ends, doesn’t mean students stop learning or you have to stop teaching. You can dedicate certain time weekly to help students in your community who are having difficulty with EFL. You can teach summer classes at your school, a nearby community college or at a summer program. Voluntary teaching adds value to students as well as to your experiences and ability to communicate with various children.

7. Plan for the Next Year:

You should use your summer to plan for the coming school year. It will free up much time when classes start. Start planning from your previous reflection and from your knowledge about what worked and what didn’t work with your students.  Think about your learning objectives (what you want the students to achieve at the end of the course you teach), plan effective and fun learning activities (something that will really capture your students’ attention), and come up with an assessment plan to implement throughout the course of the lessons. Brainstorm creative ways and activities to make this next year successful for your students and you.