As I reflect back on my previous thoughts on Marzano’s (2010) chapter over “The Inner Game of Teaching”, I see how the author’s words make a lot more sense now. When I was reading this before, I could understand how there is a constant interaction of a teacher’s inner thoughts with the surrounding school experience. However, this was from an outsider’s viewpoint for me. Now I fully comprehend this reality as a teacher and this knowledge helps me be aware of how my inner thoughts in the classroom affect my behavior.
As I read again through this chapter, I see Marzano’s examples now readily available in my own experiences. Throughout this year, I have fought inner battles to not stamp students with labels that would thus affect my unconscious perception of them. At first, I did find myself taking less time to grade students who have excelled in the past because I was already so familiar to their pattern of turning in excellent work. In these moments, I have forced myself to take extra time to evaluate their work and make sure that they continue to reach the class’ objectives rather than me quickly grading them on their previous track record. The same goes for the students who struggle with their class work or display poor behavior. I realized that I had to follow Marzano’s instructions and constantly evaluate my perceptions of students, how they are created, and how I can best support student learning. This constant reflection and evaluation has gotten easier and easier because I now see that it is becoming less of a forced discipline and more of a immediate habit.
In my previous reflection on this chapter, I discussed the impact that a constant exercise of inner reflections would have on my growth as a teacher. Throughout the year I have tried to ask myself some of the questions that Marzano (2010) suggests on page 350 when presented with the challenging situations that we as teachers face on a daily basis. This began as a forced event and was actually very difficult because I am not very good at multi-tasking. However, through repetition and constant reminders from myself, this has slowly become a routine and quite an encouraging realization. Once I can interpret the situation, I can then decide on an action and goal to reach for in response to that event (pg. 352). This has positively impacted student learning because I have been able to better build supportive relationships with students and families by constantly evaluating my own thoughts and feelings.
Wiggins, G. (2010). R. Marzano, On Excellence In Teaching. Bloomington, IL, Solutions Tree Press.