I want to go to the sea side.
If your anything like me, you often find yourself stuck.
I, Dimity Edwards, suffer from what I like to call the ‘itchy feet syndome’. A few too many times this year I have woken up in the morning, ready to pack my bag and jet set off on another adventure. Leave a note and tell all my family & friends that I’m off to follow the sun.
Today was no different. This afternoon knowing we didn’t have a COMM140 tutorial to attend at uni, I literally got in my trusty car and ended up in one of my favourite spots in the world. FRESH WATER BEACH. and I have all the right to claim this big statement; out of the 52 countries I have travelled to, for some reason whenever I arrive at the 1hour 20minute destination away from home; my heart and soul sings.
Water. Sunshine. Regular soy latte. I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement… I even forgot to take off my shoes. Sand E V E R Y W H E R E in my socks. But I couldn’t care less. I was happy.
why do i need to become a reflective practitioner?
This is a question I have been asked to address for uni assignment; and in all honesty is a question (again!) that I had never considered when thinking about my future as a Primary School Teacher. My eyes are continually being opened up in this unit. Making my mind really think and reflect. So, as I sat with my soy latte in hand, sand between my toes (that unfortuently hadn’t been painted due a quick departure and lack of planning), I began to reflect and embrace what challenges I may have ahead.
After some research, I have found that there are so many different definitions of ‘reflective practitioner’. One of better ones state, that
“reflective practice is viewed as a means by which practioners can develop a greater level of self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance, on awareness that creates opportuniteis for professional growth and development” (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993).
I really like the particular part of ... awareness that creates opportunity. There are plenty of people in this world who need to be more aware… but we can save that debate for another day. Having the ability or more importantly (like previously mentioned in earlier blogs) the wiliness to learn a process of self-reflection, will only improve teachers. Yes, understandably, time is an issue, but a 5 minute reflection might be the difference between a child understanding the life cycle of a frog and not.
I read a good blog post by Start Empathy — ‘ 3 amazing benefits of reflective practice for teachers’ (2015) and one of their fantastic points was that a reflective process can be seen as the foundation for an emotionally stable school environment. Arh… I bet you never thought of it like that before! Me either to be honest. With so much going on… hardly anyone of us human beings ever stop to reflect. The blog also went on to explore the idea that this “will enhance the quality of the school expirence” (Start Empathy, 2015) — making it a more positive, efficent and effective environment to learn. For both student and teacher.
I don’t know about you. But growing up with a strong catholic education, I was always being asked “to reflect” and “think emotionally” and “to feel” and to SHUT THE EFF UP screams my 14 year old self. But here now. Looking back; I understand why. WOOPIE. Going through a reflective process, no matter how big or small, will only utilze a practitioners skills, understandings, creative juices may begin to flow and troubling situations that once seemed like an up hill battle may become solved.
Reflective practice is a way for not only teachers, but everyone in all walks of life to improve their performance over time. It is a chance for them to jump of the plateau in skills and to seek advice, reach out for help and ultimately a way for others to show them guidance that pushes them beyond what they thought was capable.
IT IS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING THAT WILL ALLOW STUDENTS TO BE EFFECTIVE LEARNERS!!!!
I scream that because it is important. Think about this. Image that teacher who doesn’t reflect on their performance ever. like I mean ever… the one who every class gets out the text book. writes on the board a page number and tells you “to read” … opps theres the bell. i learnt loads — NOT.
Compared to that teacher who must self-reflect; they acknowledge weakness in their teaching and asks for help when needed… They try something new and accept when it fails but at least tried. I believe, one of the most significant indications that you have become a ‘successful teacher’ is purely through the success of your students. And I guarantee having the ability to be a reflective practitioner, you will become ‘THAT’ teacher walking on recess judy — where all the students flock towards. Asking you “miss/sir… is there anything I can do for you…Want me to pick up rubbish.. yeah Ok.. I’ll just go do it.. no need to ask me… just want to please you.. ok! sure there is nothing else you need me to do… like polish your shoe? or buy you lunch.. No .. OK! I’ll just stand in your presence and embrace your god like figure”
Feeling a bit sunburnt (HOW! Its the first day of spring… the sun wasn’t even that warm today!!)… I will leave it with the classic ‘motivational’ points to finish.
… To avoid that lack of enthusiam or static practice as future educators, I ask you to make sure you reflect. just reflect. even if it for 2 minutes just after that lesson or a big journal on the good and bad of the day. We teachers we have a long, long, career ahead and a way for ‘us young ones’ to maintain that dream and focus, reflection is key to professional development.
Be vunerable. Be open. Be willing. Be reflective. Be you. and Be the best version of yourself.
I have found that becoming a reflective practitioner taught in my #COMM140 unit. I no longer feel stuck. Blogging has given me a chance to ‘itch away’ and get my thoughts out no matter where I find myself in life.
Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R. (1993). Reflective practice for educators. Newbury Park, Calif.: Corwin Press.