As the end of the marking period approaches, we are looking back and examining our student’s progress and performance. But just as we periodically evaluate our own students, so should we evaluate ourselves! Self-evaluation provides an opportunity for us to step back from the daily routine and examine strengths and needs, what we have learned, and what we want to learn. When we make self-evaluation a priority, yearly or biyearly, we can determine progress towards our own long term goals. And when problems and stressors arise in the workplace, examining our behavior can be important in finding solutions that benefit everyone.
Of course, looking at your own skills as a therapist can be challenging. But there are tools and strategies to help you start the process.
1) Professional Portfolio/Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Logs
Maintaining an ongoing record of courses and classes completed not only eases renewal of certifications and licenses, it can help you chart your learning, develop specialized knowledge, and set goals. It can also monitor your progress toward the goals you set through self evaluation.
2) Journaling and Professional Reflections
Not only can writing down professional experiences help you with self reflection, it can decrease stress. Write about both the positive and negative, and make sure to leave space to reread and reflect later on. Just make sure your writing is HIPPA compliant and secure.
3) Professional Organizations
Many professional organizations offer tools that can help with assessment. For example, Springfield Public Schools has a Framework of Professional Practice for Speech and Language Pathologists that outlines competency areas and expectations. ASHA also has a comprehensive document, titled “Performance Assessment of Contributions and Effectiveness of Speech‐Language Pathologists” that includes the Performance Assessment of Contributions and Effectiveness of SLPs Matrix, another tool that can summarize the areas expected in the field.
AOTA also offers the Professional Development Tool for members, which has many resources that occupational therapists can use to assess skills and create action plans. The National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists also offers practice-specific self-assessment tools online.
The APTA also offers self-assessment tools for physical therapist members.
And of interest to all related services practitioners, the Occupational Therapy Ethics Self-Assessment Index is available for free online, and a short series of questions related to ethical behaviors can be found within this document.
4) Character Assessment
Finally, taking a objective look at one’s own character can provide valuable insights when engaging in self-reflection. One tool that is available for free online is the Via Survey. Registration is required.
Do you have any terrific tools for self-assessment?