Are you a good teacher? Are your students learning? These and many other questions inundate a catechist as to whether or not they are doing a good job teaching their students.
To find out whether or not you are a good teacher, researchers say that one of the best ways is to use evaluative questions that force catechists to evaluate themselves. In doing this catechists can assess what they know, do not know, and what they would like to know so they can become better teachers. After they self-evaluate they will be able to set goals that they feel they can attain with the new knowledge they have about themselves.
Here are examples of some questions that a catechist can ask themselves:
1. How much time and effort did you put into this lesson?
2. What do you think your strengths and weaknesses were in this lesson?
3. How could you improve your lesson?
4. What are the most valuable things your students learned from this lesson?
When doing self evaluations the catechist begins to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. You also become more familiar with your own beliefs, and possibly your misconceptions on what and how you are teaching your class and whether or not it is effective or not. After you self-evaluate yourself, you will be able to set goals that you feel you can attain with the new knowledge you have about yourself.
Some researchers suggest teachers to ask their students and parents for feedback in a questionnaire on how the class is going and what the teacher is doing well and not so well. When doing this the teacher is showing that they want to make improvements where needed and that they are open to ideas. Teachers could put up a suggestion box, and they can hand out evaluation forms at different times of the year. This shows the students and parents that continuous improvement is important and that everyone needs to learn the importance of self evaluation.
Another way to self evaluate is to video tape your lessons. The tapes can be reviewed in private and teachers can build off their strengths and improve upon their points of weaknesses.
Everyone makes mistakes and the difference between an effective catechist and one who is not is the ability to learn from those mistakes. Face your challenges that come your way and use your mistakes as a learning tool and look for ways on how to improve. All catechists make mistakes and good catechists learn from their mistakes. Mistakes do not keep your from being a good teacher, they will propel you toward it -- if you accept them and learn from them!
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