Your personal why.
In today's post I want to discuss why should we use reflective teaching as a strategy to be a better teacher. My question for you today is WHAT is Reflective Teaching?
What do you think it is? (Go ahead and think out loud if you must , or write it down on a Post-It note.)
To answer the what is it question, let's dive into the research behind it. Did you know that there is a relationship between your students' achievement, your skill level and using reflective practice?
It's true, reflective practice has been around a while, in fact Buddha, Socrates, and Plato all encouraged their students to examine their lives. Moving forward in 1983 Donald Schon wrote a book called The Reflective Practitioner , where he applied the concept of reflection to various professions to show that not only do researchers generate professional knowledge, but practitioners such as doctors, TEACHERS, architects, and engineers do as well. He goes on to say that "competent practitioners usually know more than they can say"and calls this "knowing-in-action". (Marzano, 2012) I want you to be one of those teachers, you know who they are, they make teaching look so easy because they are "knowing-in-action". They have it all together, they can answer all your questions and their classroom runs like a dream. If they can do it so can you!
What do you need to do to become a Reflective Teacher? I am glad you asked, let's start small and easy:
Journaling: This is the best way to start individual reflecting. I realized that I have been doing this since I was in 8th grade. I have kept a journal since 1980-something, and it does really help you look back and learn from your mistakes!
Can you do that? Yes? Great...now try this...
Reflect with a co-worker: Are you cooperatively planning? Do you have a 'person' at school that you can share your great works as well as your blunders? Find one, you can't do this alone, find a good mentor, a good friend that will tell you the truth and will be a good listener and encourager.
It is easier to reflect with a buddy, it does get a little trickier for the next two, but if you are a go-getter a self starter, then maybe you can be the voice of change where you are.
Reflect with your team: Your grade level team can be a good source of data feedback. Do you have a PLC or an Action research study group? If not START one!
Next one, you might have to talk to your principal. any principal wanting better teachers will totally agree with you!
School-wide Reflection: Committees that focus on specific content area are all the rage this year, get involved!
Stay tuned for the next post on Becoming a Reflective Teacher when we discuss HOW to be a Reflective Teacher!
Marzano, R. (2012). Becoming a reflective teacher. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory.