I have come to realise that reflection is a crucial part of becoming a teacher. Taking constructive criticism has always been difficult for me, and over the first semester, peering into second, I am beginning to understand why it is essential, and why I should encourage people to watch over my practice and assess it. I understand that we cannot improve without critique. If we weren’t reviewed by others and ourselves, we would repeatedly be in the same position making the same mistakes, and for the interests of the children, we must use our professional development to benefit them and improve the quality of our practice. Education is an ever-changing profession, things such as the curriculum and legislation have changed over the years and it is up to us to stay in-date with relevant issues and topics, as well as policies and regulations to give future generations a good, informed education.
Reflecting becomes important after lessons in the sense that we should always evaluate what went well and what could have been better. We should continually ask ourselves “How have the class responded?” and “What are my next steps?”. Although you may be challenging some of the children, maybe for others it was too difficult, which caused them to be disengaged. If a lesson in misunderstood by the whole class, there is of course no logic in progressing further and deeper into the subject. Next steps should be to adapt the lesson and maybe even our style to engage the children and encourage their understanding. Reflection allows us to answer questions such as, “What from your teaching has prevented the children from understanding?”, “Have you challenged the children enough, or too much?”, “What could I have done better to improve the children’s learning?”. Pulling out our own abilities and developing qualities from the lesson can encourage our personal development in order to enhance children’s education.
In semester one during the working together module, I figured that speaking up and getting my voice heard wasn’t at all a bad thing. It was best for my group to get my opinion, as when we are qualified together, speaking up is important for the children and young people we will work with. Also in semester one, my involvement was restrictive and therefore restrictive to my learning. Moving forward, my confidence should continue to grow and I should ensure I get involved and keep up to date with reading, as I have found how much this can benefit my studies.
I feel my realisation for personal development and reflection was at the beginning of semester two. I only began truly reflecting when we started our second semester and had a dance workshop. When I realised in the dance workshop that actually, getting involved can be enjoyable and that everyone in my class was in the same boat, I no longer wanted to be the shy girl I was in primary school again. I wanted to enjoy every moment of my studies, including through dance. I decided there that I would try to give everything my maximum effort when possible and that I should stop being embarrassed to participate. My confidence was limited in semester one and I thought speaking out in a lecture was a rather daunting thing. However, semester two has already taught me that getting involved heightens my learning and that I should believe in myself more. I should try to speak up in a lecture if I have an answer, I should try to throw myself into new things when appropriate, and I should definitely take constructive criticism! Not everything will be perfect, and sometimes, some things change depending on the day. It is now crucial for me to regularly reflect, otherwise, I would still be that shy girl from primary school, and not the best version of myself.