How to Adjust Teaching Strategies With Self-Evaluation

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Self-reflection is a part of life. However, in the world of education, it can be the difference between student success and failure. This lesson offers advice on how to evaluate and make adjustments to your teaching.


You have just finished a lesson for your 8th-grade reading class. Now, you simply move to the next day, right? Wrong! After each lesson, activity, quiz, test, or unit, every teacher must evaluate his or her teaching. What worked well is saved for future use, and what did not work is adjusted or dropped completely.

Every successful teacher needs to be flexible, which means constantly adjusting every aspect of the job from lesson plans, to questioning, to assessment, and on and on. This lesson details some methods every teacher should use to evaluate and make adjustments to teaching and help students succeed.

Adjusting Teaching Strategies

Let's start with focusing on adjusting teaching strategies, or the procedures that promote and assess student learning. Simply put, this includes how you teach and how you determine what has been learned.

Think again about that 8th-grade reading class. Say you do a lesson on figurative language. You begin with direct instruction to define terms like simile, metaphor, and personification. Next, students complete a group activity identifying examples from a poem. Last, you hand out a short quiz. Once you grade it, you realize the scores are below what you expected. So what do you do now?

Examine Teaching Methods

This is the time for reflection, or closely examining your teaching techniques. Where did you lose them? Reflect on the direct instruction, the activity, and the quiz. Perhaps, instead of simply giving the definitions of figurative language, you could have allowed students to find that information themselves. In addition to reflection, you can also try recording yourself teaching. Watching this type of video can give you some great insight into any weaknesses in the lesson. Then you can adjust your teaching style accordingly. Lastly, evaluate the assessment. Did the quiz actually assess the figurative language terms? Maybe you need to adjust the quiz to better reflect the class activity.

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