Reflective Practice: Develop Our Teaching Practice By Ourselves

Reflective Practice ,Vicky Tsiantis, Published on Feb 4, 2016.

Reflective practice implies that we intentionally pause and think about our practices, consciously analyze our decisions, determine what is meaningful and why, which will in turn help us learn from our experience. I believe that reflective practice shouldn’t be restricted to our professions and should be done in all aspects of our life as it helps us evaluate our beliefs and biases, challenge ourselves to adjust our practices.

In my workplace, we use self-reflection and peer-reflection practices, unfortunately the later occasionally happens because of the busy schedule of each one of us, and thus each tend to work on his/her own. Personally I document significant activities and events and use a very simple format in my reflection, I write down what happened, what I have learned from these events, things that were done well and others that should have been done differently. But there are other various reflective Practice models, each of these has an online template that can utilized to help educators especially beginners to start their reflection practice. Most popular are Rolfe et al (2001) that has 3 simple questions, “1- What? – What happened?, 2- So what? – What does it mean?, 3- Now what? – What needs to happen next?” ( Businessballs, 2016) . There are even more complex models to use such as the Lawrence-Wilkes “REFLECT” model and Gibbs Reflective Cycle model ( Businessballs, 2016).

Reflective practice requires discipline and dedication, it involves all aspects of teaching, from planning, through instruction, assessment and adjustment. In the process, we must refer to our instructional material and resources such as plans, lesson etc.. Lately, one of my colleagues started to tap videos of himself teaching to help him observe his work better and thus develop a more accurate reflection practice and he even shared some of these videos with his peers to get more support in the process. Though we are overloaded with heavy schedules, yet we must find time to reflect on our practice, find ways to evaluate ourselves and act responsively, identify our failures and successes honestly and determine what really works in different contexts. I consider reflection practice not only a mean to promote student learning and grow professionally but also a unique opportunity to develop our teaching practice by ourselves.
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