After a day's work it's very easy for me to be weighed down thinking "this didn't work", "that was crap", "you're shit", and getting exasperated with myself and with the kids. I need to see the little successes and learn from the failures. If I had a psychotherapist I'm sure she'd agree!
It's hard though, when the successes are not obvious or are overwhelmed by thoughts of the failures. And what can you learn from failures? Only that something didn't work, not necessarily what to do to make it work!
During the past week we've had Craig, a young Scottish teacher, visiting SISP and working with a couple of our special needs children (for want of a better term - we all have special needs.) Our head teacher asked him to give a talk about modern teaching methods. You could say that his little presentation was an epiphany for me! He talked about the concept of multiple intelligences - the different ways in which we all learn. In his model there were eight modes of learning and when you split them all out they make a lot of sense. He went on to talk about Classroom Practice, Assessment For Learning, Assessment As Learning, Assessment Of Learning, Questioning and Discussing. I mode notes and can already see how I can improve my teaching. Fantastic!
Importantly for me, he singled out a couple of things I had done with my classes which he thought were particularly effective. That did my ego no harm whatsoever!