Every so often, it’s important to look back on your career, and yourself, and reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s a quote by famed writer, Oscar Wilde, that goes like this:

“To love oneself, is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Teaching has its fair share of ups and downs. Some days you feel like everything’s going smoothly: your lesson ends on time; your students are active and working hard; your administrator congratulates you on a job well-done!

That makes you feel great – like you’re worth something to yourself, your coworkers, and students!

Other times, you may feel like crap: a few parents call and complain; you have to work while sick because you don’t have any more sick days to use; students fight or otherwise disrupt class and you can’t manage them well; or you have a fight with a coworker or administrator which ruins your mood for the day.

In any case, a BIG part of teaching (or any job really), is to look at yourself as a person and as an employee, and reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses.


Credit: Google Images

Five Tips for Self-Reflection

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I found an excellent website that shares five tips for self-reflection, and I’d love to share them with you all just as they are.

  • Be honest with yourself. You don’t do yourself any favors if you aren’t 100% honest with yourself about how things are going and how you are behaving.
  • Notice behavior patterns. We are all creatures of habit. Some of these habits are helpful and others are not. It’s good to be aware of your habits so you can actively weaken the ones you don’t want and strengthen the ones you do want.
  • Be able to articulate your core values. If you don’t know what’s important to you, how can you ever grow and manifest your best self? Take time to consider what’s most important to you so that you can better evaluate whether or not you’re living those values.
  • Be forgiving. Change is hard and old habits are hard to break. Be gentle with yourself when you don’t get it right. It’s okay. We’re all human. We all make mistakes (The Blame Game and Forgiveness).
  • Keep track of your self-reflection. Start a journal where you record your observations and monitor your personal growth. This will help you when looking back at your year to remind yourself of where you’ve been and where you want to go.

Too often, we reflect on the negative aspects or weaknesses we have. It’s important to acknowledge weakness and see where we can grow, BUT it’s not a good thing to dwell upon them. That can make it hard to progress in our jobs and personal lives. It’s just as important to say what our positive traits and strengths are. Knowing where we excel and how we matter to others can help us find the energy to improve the areas where we’re weak.


Credit: Google Images

I challenge you!

I will take some time this week for self-reflection. I challenge you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be for more than an hour or so. Just find a quiet place with little to no distractions, and write out your strengths and weaknesses. Then take some time to plan how you can overcome those weaknesses.

I’d love to hear any other tips you may have for self-reflection. 

Please post them, or relevant stories, in the comments below!

Have a great week everyone, and remember that YOU MATTER!


Filed under ESL, Korea, Self Reflection, Teaching

3 responses to “Reflection

  1. I’ll sometimes use student reactions or feedback to aid reflection. In my case this works because I teach adults. Also, where I volunteer, they have tutor and student reflection journals, to be filled out at the end of each class. This also provides some valuable opportunities for reflection, although one would have to read between the lines in the student journals as the students are usually quite positive no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

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