Last week I had a discussion with a student about reflective teaching. She was concerned about our course and shared some of her worries. Since they will be blogging about their experiences in my class, I asked that she blog about her concerns, which will be the first assignment. I want them to write about their expectations and concerns and also come up with 3 goals for themselves.
We also discussed how important reflective teaching is and I’m so glad this student gets it! I think reflecting on our teaching is one of the most important things that we can do. I think we tend to do this unconsciously but I think it is important to make a conscious effort to do this.
I know that when I started teaching more than 30 years ago, I started keeping a daily journal during my first year of teaching. I jotted down each day a little paragraph about each of my students. It was so cool to see how much they had changed by the end of the year. I think we do a lot of the same things I did years ago but now the techniques are labeled with fancy names. I wish that I had kept a journal of my own thoughts then also and kept up with it over the years. It would have been great to compare it to my thoughts at the end of my teaching career.
By doing this we can look at what works and what didn’t work as well as how to make things better. Just because something worked doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be improved. I also like to see how people see their own teaching and how they thing they can improve.
I also think the blogging platform is a great way to do this reflective activity because it lets others comment on your post. Sometimes we have questions that we can’t answer ourselves and others can offer suggestions. Sometimes we have concerns that other people can address. If we feel worried, others are there to give support. And most of all, if we have a victory, there are others to share in our successes.
Do you do reflective teaching? What platform do you use to document your reflections? Please share.