I recently took a self-assessment of teaching skills from Robyn Jackson’s Never Work Harder Than Your Students. Like the Briggs Myers type personality tests, Jackson’s evaluation weighs answers to various prompts in order to identify strengths in key areas of the teaching domain.
My answers landed me squarely in the Practitioner category (Master Teacher, Practitioner, Apprentice, Novice). Practitioner is a category that accurately describes my abilities, on average. Of course, on any given day, I could be any of the four. On the third rainy day in a row without outdoor recess, while delivering a math lesson at the end of the day, I resemble a scraggly substitute on work release; while my Monday morning, caffeine-enhanced storytelling sessions would get me a spotlight role in a PBS documentary. Teaching is like that; lots of static, hidden currents, blind spots, fatigue, and frailties. It takes a lot of consistency to address the inconsistencies.
I scored highest in the the instructional categories at which I am most consistent: time management, an unrelenting focus on depth, and the accuracy of my vision of student abilities.
The evaluation also underscored areas that have often been either a struggle, or a non-priority for me. I’ve always struggled with the accounting of student progress, at least in the sense of frequency and formality. It seems that I would need both a staff of accountants and clerks, and an unrealistic belief that constant assessment improves learning, in order to truly impact my progress in this area. Still, Jackson identifies this component as a principle, so I will be diligent in reading her thoughts on this.
Un humilde estudiante,