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Reflective teaching

Reflective teaching can be a game-changer when you consider that most teachers have good days. On the other hand, many teachers feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to handle the end of a long and stressful day. In this situation, reflective teaching is a must-have tool for teachers.

What is reflective teaching?

reflective teaching is an analytical process that teachers use to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching practices. Depending on the results of this critical reflection, teachers may need to improve or change their teaching methods.

Whether you’re a new teacher or an experienced one, reflective teaching can be a great way to improve your teaching methods and your overall mental health.

But how do I incorporate this method of teaching and self-evaluation into my already hectic schedule?

In the next few sections, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips and tricks, as well as ways to document your reflective teaching journal.



The reflective level is considered the highest level of teaching where teachers engage in reflective and reflective approaches. The goal of the reflective level is to provide learners with a high-quality educational experience that encourages the full use and enhancement of their cognitive capabilities.

“Reflective Thought” was first coined by John Dewey. Subsequently, terms such as “critical thinking,” “problem-solving,” and “higher-level thinking” were developed to describe similar approaches.

Reflection is one of the best practices for experienced educators (regardless of the subject matter). When you practice reflective teaching, you look back and evaluate your teaching. 

You evaluate your students’ responses, behavior, successes or failures. When you evaluate your teaching, you become more aware of what you are teaching, why you are teaching it, and how you are teaching it (methods and approaches). You must consider factors such as the lesson you are teaching, the materials you are using, and the learning environment you are creating. You must also consider the students and their needs and learning strategies.


No matter how well-planned your lesson is, it’s inevitable that you will fail at some point. Most busy teachers will simply ignore those difficult or unsuccessful moments. A few months later and a year later, those memories and those emotions will have faded away. The teacher will have gone through the same process, with the same amount of effort, professional investment, and the same approach. Unless something changes, the teacher will continue along the same path and will most likely fail again.




Every day is a new chance to start over. Remembering that tough times only make you stronger will help you feel more confident. Reflecting on your successes and failures in the classroom will help you better evaluate and understand your teaching so you can better meet your students’ needs. To make your notations look better, use a reflection teaching journal (check out the samples here). It’s the best way to keep your thoughts organized and save your daily events in one place. Templates with sections where you can explain why and how you teach are also helpful. Identify where you need to revise or improve your teaching, as well as the environment if you find any issues. I recently had a situation where smokers were outside my classroom windows, making a lot of noise and smoking. As soon as the smoke started, the students started to get distracted and angry. I shut the windows but it was really hot and humid outside.


It made everyone feel uncomfortable. After noticing the issue and thinking of ways to fix it, I asked our secretary to create big signs (both pictorial and wordy) and put them on the window. It worked! The learning environment is stable again!


When teachers examine their own teaching practices through critical reflection, they develop new attitudes and an understanding that they believe can not only help their professional development as a teacher, but also enhance the type of support they offer their students.


The reflective teaching journal is a great tool for this type of pedagogical research.




Goss P., Hunter J., Targeted teaching: How better use of data can improve student learning, Grattan Institute, 2015, [Online], Available at:

Reflective Teaching, What is Reflective Teaching?, [Online], Available at:, Accessed [26 July 2016]

 Zalipour A., Reflective Practice, University of Waikato, 2015, [Online], Available at:, Accessed [26 July 2016]

 Zalipour A., Reflective Practice, University of Waikato, 2015, [Online], Available at:, Accessed [26 July 2016]

Eastern Mennonite Unviersity, The REflective Teaching Model, [Online], Available at:, Accessed [26 July 2016]