Get off to a good start by reflecting on your teaching practices. Does your teaching style match the needs of all of the students in your classroom? Are you engaging all of your students during your lessons? If not, how will you know before it is too late? Engaging in self-assessment is a beneficial process that allows professionals an opportunity to identify the teaching practices that are working and make adjustments to practices that are not as effective.
Video is a powerful self-examination tool. Through the use of video recordings you can witness yourself as a teacher (Are my content examples culturally relevant to the students in my class? Is my constant walking around the classroom a distraction to some students?) and get a full view of the students in your class as they are learning (Does Jacob always seem that bored during science? Why is Marta having such a difficult time keeping up with the reading?). Ask a colleague to take a video recording of you teaching one or several lessons. Make sure that the person filming focuses on both the teacher and the learners.
Using two video cameras is the most effective strategy as one can be focused on the teacher and one can focus on the students in the classroom. Watch the video alone or in the company of trusted colleagues who will be able to provide useful feedback. It is most effective to watch the tape several times focusing on a different aspect of teaching and learning during each viewing. Make a list of the techniques and strategies that seem to be working and those areas that you would like to improve. If you are challenged by one or more individual learners, take notes on their behavior throughout the lesson looking for patterns of engagement and disengagement.
If you prefer to use a structured self-assessment tool, check out http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional /selfassessment/checklist/index.htm for a variety of teacher self-assessment checklists that focus on aspects of teaching such as classroom environment, routines and procedures, reaching all students and assessment.