Reflective Response: The Inner Game Of Teaching

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.


6 thoughts on “Reflective Response: The Inner Game Of Teaching

  1. You made an excellent point about not being pre-disposed towards certain students based on previous work. I know I myself often struggle with this, it’s so easy to want to skim through something because I know that they ‘always’ do good work. I agree that it is important to not fall into this trap and to assess students based on current work.

  2. It sounds like your intentional evaluation of triggers is paying off, which is such a great thing. I am still working on analyzing my reactions, positive or negative, and admit that days go by without any reflection at all about how I am responding to trigger situations. This was a good reminder to continue to reflect and address reactions as the year comes to a close.

  3. I think that everyone could agree with you. Anytime you are learning to do something, you must force yourself through for the first few attempts. After some practice though the task would later become automatic. For psychological tasks like this that occurs during the middle of a hectic day, it could indeed be difficult to master, but the impact that positive framing could have on student relationship makes the effort all the more worthwhile.

  4. Joanna, I think the point you made about already having preconcieved notions on the quality of students’ work is a common problem for teachers. By assuming a student’s work is poor since it has been poor in the past teachers aren’t being fair graders. Conversely, by assuming a student’s work is great since it has been great in the past teachers aren’t providing appropriate feedback to help that student improve. In both instances, the teacher wouldn’t really be helping students. It is certainly important for all teachers to be aware of our own unconscious habits and perceptions.

  5. Thank you for posting this entry. I apologize for the time it took to provide some input – Certainly not very good modeling of feedback on my part. I am glad that you have been paying attention to the ideas shared in the reading. You are so correct that this can lead to a positive habit, which it seems you have worked hard to develop. It is good to read that you attempted to include this in your daily reflective routine.

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