When I first thought about reflection I thought it was about looking back and thinking what you could do better. I thought it was a good way to assess what you have done. However after reading about it there is a lot more to it; you have to look back at your feelings, look at it from a different perspective and also reflection on how you reflected. I never realized how your looking into your emotions could help you to assess yourself. You have to think deeper and go into a lot of detail. Something that reflecting can make you do is thinking from a different perspective. You might think that an activity has gone horribly wrong. But upon reflection you realize that other people did get something from it and your intentions were there, you might just have to improve. You can sometimes get caught up in your own emotion. So stepping back and looking at from a different angle can help you understand.
To reflect you first must understand why you are reflecting. What is it that you are going to reflect on? Then as you recall the event you must think about your thoughts and feelings during the event. Then you should evaluate; think what areas were good and what areas were bad and what to improve on. Be critical. It is important to analyse. Can you comprehend what happened and what is the importance of it? Look at past experience, can that help you reflect? Then in conclusion you must look at what you might do differently next time and what are your next steps.
So as you can see reflection is a lot more than just what you could do better. Go deeper into the situation.
To begin with when we were told to give feedback I was nervous. I didn’t want to receive bad feedback and I also didn’t want to offend anybody. But overall I feel I can look back on the experience in a positive light.
The feedback I received was very helpful. There was some constructive criticism. But the comments weren’t too mean. They in fact really helped me, they made me think how I can improve. They brought up points that I never thought of and made me question myself. Which is good, it means that I’m always learning. I also received some lovely comments, which really boosted my confidence. Overall I am now not so worried to receive feedback!
I was also a bit nervous to give feedback, as I did not want hurt anybody’s feelings. But after reading the ‘Guidelines for giving and receiving feedback’ I realized you need to be critical to give good feedback. But being critical does not mean being mean. It means giving the person something to work or improve on. But it also reminded me you have to say what you liked about the piece of work. But you have to pick out why, so don’t just generalize.
So overall I feel the experience was very useful as learnt to give useful feedback. I also have learnt to receive feedback positively. To take criticism on board and use it to improve my work.
Student teachers should reflect all the time and being an enquiring practitioner will help to do this. So what is an enquiring practitioner?
It is about investigating a rational approach that can be explained or defended. This is normally done within the practitioners own practice or in a group with others. Being an enquiring practitioner’s means that you are constantly evaluating and reflecting on your teaching, which is fundamental for teachers. This should become an integral aspect of our day-to-day practise. Enquiring is about knowing deeply. We should be questioning ourselves all the time. Doing all of this means that teachers should have a better understanding of their practise and ways in which to improve it.
There are numerous benefits to being and enquiring practitioner. For example it helps to empower teachers and it encourages them to challenge and transform education. It is a good way to provide teachers to monitor and develop their own practise. It allows people to investigate new strategies and initiatives. Overall it increases teacher’s knowledge of learning, which enables them to be more professional and to have higher confidence in their self and their professional identity.
However it does come with some challenges. For example it can be uncomfortable to challenge people. So we need to be sensitive and supportive. It does challenge the traditional way of being a teacher which means people might need to learn a new set of skills. It can sometime be lonely sometimes. For some people this whole process can be a little overwhelming.
For me as a student teacher I feel this all means that I should be constantly questioning myself. I should listen to others and constructively criticise them. I should be learning all the time and to not be afraid to challenge myself and others.