Have you ever stopped to evaluate if the tasks you are assigning your students are meaningful? Are they useful? It really is a good question.
Often as teachers we spend so much time trying to cover a scope and sequence that we do not always make time to really self-reflect. I know I have been guilty of this. There is always so much to cover...so much that feels important. What do I leave in? What do I take out? I don't think this struggle will ever get easier. Every year you have to evaluate your students needs and make decisions about what they need and how you long you need to spend on certain concepts and units.
This semester I am taking two graduate classes: a class on Creativity and a Curriculum class. This past Thursday we had our first creativity class. I am really excited about the discussions we will have. I think studying the concept of creativity is such a fascinating one. Like you often do in a college class on the first day, we reviewed the syllabus. As we went through the expectations for the semester, I found myself appreciating the tasks we are being asked to do. They all felt useful. Every assignment is given with a purpose - with a sense of how it will help us in future tasks as graduate students or scholars.
It reminded me that as teachers we need to stop and do the same thing. I try to always give assignments with a greater purpose in mind. At the same time, I know that I occasionally need to be reminded to make more time to self-reflect. The things I teach and the tasks I assign need to be done with deliberate intention. We all need to ask questions like: Is this meaningful? Is this going to be useful? Sometimes we do something just because it will be fun. And that is okay too on occasion.
What questions do you ask yourself as a teacher when you take time to self-reflect?