Sunday, August 28, 2016

Becoming a reflective teacher

Becoming a Reflective Teacher by Robert J. Marzano, Tina Boogren, Tammy Heflebowe, Jessica Kanold-Macintyre, and Debra Pickering is like the other books from Marzano in that it is well researched and easy to read. This particular volume is part of His The Classroom Strategies Series which springboards off The Art and Science of Teaching. The goal of this series is to provide additional guidance in the key elements of instruction that were identified in The Art and Science book.

Overall the book provides guidance in how to develop a more reflective stance toward teaching. One of the key elements of improving professional skills is reflection on practice. This element is seen in both Danielson and Marzano's teacher evaluation protocols. Interestingly, the majority of the book is in the compendium. This part of the book isolates each of Marzano's 41 elements of effective instruction with possible strategies to address the element. For example Element 35: What do I typically do to acknowledge adherence rules and procedures? includes strategies of verbal affirmations, nonverbal affirmations, tangible recognition, token economies. daily recognition forms, color coded behavior, certificates, and phone calls, emails and notes. There is a brief description of each. If someone wants more information they are frequently referred to Marzano's website.

If you need to evaluate yourself on the various elements of instruction, the book includes rubrics and descriptions of performance for each element. Although this part of the book comes after the compendium, it comes first in action. If you can evaluate your skill set and identify areas in need of improvement, then you can search out strategies to improve in those areas. That being said, Marzano emphasizes that people focus on a couple of elements to develop. Picking too many will  result in not developing to potential in any.

This book will be a useful resource as I look at selecting personal goals for the year. The compendium will undoubtedly be a place I look to again and again.

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