Reflection, what is it good for?

In today’s lecture, the focus was largely on the importance of reflecting as a teacher, both in and out of school. The General Teaching Council (Scotland) have the Standards for Provisional Registration, which outline that engaging in reflection is key to becoming a striving and beneficial teacher.

3.4.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise Professional Actions

Student teachers:

 reflect and engage in self evaluation using the relevant professional standard;

 adopt an enquiring approach to their professional practice and engage in professional enquiry and professional dialogue;

 evaluate their classroom practice, taking account of feedback from others, in order to enhance teaching and learning;

 engage where possible in the processes of curriculum development, improvement planning and professional review and development;

 work collaboratively to share their professional learning and development with colleagues;

 maintain a record of their own professional learning and development, culminating in an Initial Professional Development Action Plan.                                                                                                                                                                                       (GTCS standards for provisional registration,                                                                                                                                                                 2012)

We were asked to think about a key moment about our professional development in semester one and reflect on what we learnt from this and what the processes of reflection are beginning to mean for ourselves.

A very striking memory from semester one which I feel covers this is during the working together module. For the assignment, we all had to reflect on how well we thought we worked together as a team, and what we all thought of each other as peers. It became very clear as we progressed with this task that we did not work as well together as we first thought. We began to identify gaps in our learning and communication with each other, and how we did not reflect on this and try to solve it straight away, but instead, kept it quiet, ultimately not solving the problem.

I feel I learnt a lot about the importance of reflection from such a small, somewhat straightforward task. I learnt that it is so important to reflect on collaborative working in particular, as, by reflecting on how you work well with others, you can identify any issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.

This made me realise that reflection is very important in the teaching profession, as it can help me to identify what  I have done particularly well on, but also, what I need to improve on. Without reflection, the same mistakes will be made and they will never be changed or thought about. By reflecting, I can identify issues and work on these to ensure I become the best teacher I can possibly be.

“Unless teachers develop the practice of critical reflection, they stay trapped in unexamined judgments, interpretations, assumptions, and expectations. Approaching teaching as a reflective practitioner involves fusing personal beliefs and values into a professional identity” (Larrivee, 2000, p.293)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *