Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Do You Reflect?

Just a quick post. I often sit down to reflect on my day & wonder what I could have done differently or how I could have improved on what happened. While I also acknowledge when things go well, I am usually very harsh on myself. I find the smallest fault with how the day went. While constructive self criticism can be critical for effective professional growth, I do believe that sometimes I can be a bit harsh on myself.

What about you? how do you reflect on your daily practice?


  1. I am completely the opposite. I sit down and think to myself how wonderful my friends were today. How nice it was when they said this or did that. Even when they're being problematic one minute, the next they're doing something to make me laugh or want to hug them. I do have moments of "I shouldn't put those big blocks out again or the NEXT hit to the head might be a bit more dramatic".

  2. I ponder things a lot. In the past I often focused on what I did that wasn't "right." Or what I didn't do that I should have done. While I still find those areas that need improvement, now I challenge myself to find something that I did really well, too. Like you, I want to grow but not be too harsh on myself. (Although that's hard for a perfectionist!)

  3. Maybe instead of looking at what didn't go well, you need to ask yourself what information this is giving you about the children. We're all guessing, really, about what will 'work' on any day of the year with any group of children, and it's important to remember that context can change everything- the weather, what happened at the kids' homes this morning or what they've eaten, who was present or absent today.

    I've discovered many activities which I've thought foolproof which simply don't work in a different context. I see this better than most, probably, because as a casual I've moved through many different centres- I have one hilarious song with actions, for example, which was a raging success at four centres and fell flat on its face at the fifth.

    The trick is not to castigate yourself, but to learn about this particular group of children from 'failed' activities- and remain positive but flexible. Negative reflection isn't all that helpful in making us better teachers, and so we sometimes have to fight the urge to beat ourselves up and search for the POSITIVE from activities or approaches that didn't turn out as we expected.

    Please don't feel alone. Like Scott and many others who take our responsibilities seriously, I am a perfectionist and need to take my own advice!!!

    Blogging is a great way to make yourself look at both sides of a situation, and the comments will also help. Can you share some more about your negative reflections here?

  4. Thanks for your concern Aunt Annie, but this was more of a call for others to share how they reflect. I've always been much harder on myself than others, but have developed the abilty to recognise the positives in what I'm involved with. I still seek affirmation from time to time, as I think we all do. I am actually quite effective at seeing both sides of the ledger, but continue to look at how I could improve which is what we all should be doing anyway.

    I think the more critically we look at our own practices the greater our scope for growth & development professionally.

  5. At the end of the day, I often contemplate what went well in the classroom. I teach students from ESL background and so teaching is extremely explicit. I end up thinking about how I am going to make sure that concept we talked about today STICKS! I think about what I am going to change about the lesson content and my approach. After a few years teaching I am learning not to be as harsh on myself. There is always another day and another opportunity to do what I intended.