Monday, March 13, 2017

Am I doing the right thing?

As a fairly new teacher (<5 years of real experience), I often ask myself this question. Along with a bucketload of others:

Am I teaching this concept correctly?
Am I satisfying the criteria/ standard/ curriculum/ outcomes?
Am I assessing too often/ not enough?
Am I documenting enough?
How do you spell that word again?
Am I catering for student X enough?
Am I spending too much time working with my needy student Y and neglecting the rest of the class?
Why can't I seem to get through to student Z?
Am I pushing too hard/ not hard enough?
Are my expectations to high?
Am I doing enough Maths?
Am doing too much Maths?
Am I too loud?
Is my teacher voice annoying? (My husband likes to describe it as: occasionally 'shrill')
Do I let my class get too noisy?
Are the parents satisfied with me?
Am I making sense?
Do the kids understand what I'm saying at all?

Before I spiral into a blackhole of negative thoughts and self doubt, I take a moment to breathe and ask myself 2 simple questions:

1. Do my students enjoy coming to school? I think so, at least the majority of the time.

2. Am I doing the best job I can for these kids? Yes, I believe I am.


  1. After having taught for 40 years I still had the same questions. Like you, I believed I was doing the best I could for my students and that was all that mattered.

  2. I think teachers have some of the most stressful jobs at time. While we might only have one principal to answer to professionally, we have 20 little faces judging our every move. It can be a lot of pressure. I remember my second year of teaching overseas in China I had a ton of self-doubt and questioned my teaching, but I've always bounced back. It is good that you have those positive self-reflections at the end! Good teachers reflect so it sounds to me like you are doing something right!

    -Amanda at

  3. As long as the answers to the two final, yet simple, questions are "Yes", then you are indeed doing it right.

  4. These questions, and more, are normal for any teacher. It means you are reflective and want to do a good job. Just the fact that you are asking these questions is a good sign of your abilities as a teacher. :) Hope your confidence grows soon. I agree, the last 2 questions are the most important!

  5. 2 check in questions is enough. Good that you catch yourself before you let self-doubt take over.

  6. I love this self reflection. Such great questions.