Reflection, and More Reflection as a Teacher

Reflection as a teacher: reflect, reflect, reflect.

Reflection as a teacher is a bit of a motto—reflect on experiences to better your instruction and connections. John Dewey stated, “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” We teachers are taught to reflect so we grow as educators.

One of the benefits to blogging about education is that provides a platform for reflection with other educators.

As another year closes, I’ve spent time reflecting on successes and challenges with students and my own children. Reflecting, learning what works and doesn’t. Here are my ideas.

Reflecting before second semester - it's important! You can improve your classroom community and procedures after winter break.

  1. Explain that every student has different goals, and that is ok.
    Just as every student brings varying life experiences and abilities, they will have varying goals. I’ve known this, but lately I explain this to students. Spending a few minutes at the start of a new session or unit pays off later. I remind students to think back to the goal that fits them as individuals. Are they working toward a personalized goal? Are they making improvements? Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s journey; you need to do this, that person that. I normally approach public speaking and writing papers with goals. Now I’m implementing goal setting into ACT review, reading, and grammar too.
  2. Balance work and life. 
    Right now, I’m teaching part-time. Later this school year, I will move to full-time. My goal for this change is for balance and sanity to accompany it. I cannot work insane hours, and I cannot fail at teaching my students.
  3. Don’t turn up your nose at new ideas.
    I try not to brush off new ideas, but sometimes skepticism wins. My son adores graphic novels, which I first tossed off as a fancy redo of comic books. Anyway. At first, I reluctantly checked them out at the library. Then he reread them, asked for them for Christmas, and turned off his computer to read them. What? Time to look closely at these. I’ve sat down to read a few, and they don’t appeal to me. He loves them, and I never should have been so snotty about them. A humble reminder.

Another year done, numerous students taught, more lessons (for me and them) learned.

I’m always interested in my readers: how is your reflection as a teacher?

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