I wouldn't email asking him if he's giving you a reference until you know what's going on. Maybe his comments weren't directed towards you. I kow I've been in a similar position before and felt like every little thing was directed towards me. If you're comfortable doing so, schedule a meeting and discuss how your year is going, what improvements he's seen or what he feels would benefit you in working with your students. Harder to do, I know, but maybe he would view it as you making efforts if he really is directing those comments towards you. But I could be way of base too
Sorry, I'm not much help, but you do have others who've felt like they were in similar situations here.