Self-Reflective Practice for Christian Educators

Self-reflective practice is a key to improvement in almost any domain of life. Feedback is what helps us determine whether we are on track and what we might need to adapt or adjust in order to achieve better results in the future. We were designed to learn in this way, and while there are many forms of feedback, self-reflection is one that is available to all of us. Only, it is takes a willingness to be honest with ourselves, vulnerable, letting go of the self-deception tactics that we often use to protect our ever-so-easily bruised egos. In fact, sometimes it is best accomplished with a trusted friend to help us be honest with ourselves.

Perhaps this tendency to self-deception is why God inspired 1 John 1:8-9, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This passage does not point us to some sort of pop psychology inward naval gazing. Rather, it calls for us to bring our challenges, sins, struggles, and joys to our Savior in prayer, seeking his forgiveness and help.

It is with this spirit in mind that I speak of self-reflective practice. It is a critical habit and an important part of growing as a teacher, even just improving as a friend. Yet, self-reflective practice, from a Christian perspective, can also be a conversation with the God who reveals himself to us in His World.

I was searching through backup files on my computer and came across a document called “Weekly Accountability Form” that I created 30 years ago when I was a middle and high school theology teacher. I remember requiring myself to fill it out each Friday to reflect on my teaching. The form was divided into three sections: instructional, relational, and personal. I was far from an amazing teacher, but this weekly exercise was a valued gift and guide. As such, I offer it to you below. Feel free to use, repurpose, and rewrite for your own context.


  • Can I support everything that I plan to teach or have taught with the Word of God?
  • Have I been well prepared for classes through prayer, serious study, and planning? Am I giving my best effort?
  • Do the students understand the relevance of what I am teaching?
  • Have I attempted to explain the relevance of what I am teaching lately?
  • Are there any recent events in society, the lives of students, or the world that should be addressed from God’s perspective?
  • Have I fulfilled my objectives for this week? What needs to be reinforced? Is there something that I need to teach again?
  • Am I taking the time to evaluate student assignments, homework, tests, and quizzes in a careful and honest manner?
  • What is the “feel” or “atmosphere” of my class? How can I change or sustain it?
  • Are there any behavior problems or attitudes that I have not effectively addressed? What should be done next?


  • Have I spoken words of encouragement to students this week? Is there a particular student who could use a few words of encouragement?
  • Am I keeping parents informed about their children? Do I need to inform any parents of student positive or negative behavior? (If I were the parent, what would I want to know?)
  • Do I know what is going on in the lives of my students?
  • Have I expressed personal love and interest in the “needy” kids within my classes?
  • Have I prayed for each of my students by name this week? Are there any situations in the life of a student/teacher that I should commit to prayer?
  • Do I have any bitter feelings about any students or teachers that I need to address?


  • Have I spent time in serious study of God’s Word each day this week?
  • Are there any sins that I need to confess? (10 commandments, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Timothy 3, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 1 Corinthians 13, James 3:1-12, James 1:19-21