As educators we work hand-in-hand with our co-workers to hold students accountable for their best work efforts. Being united in our efforts, holding common expectations and classroom norms, and consistent instructional models are all exercised to help hold students accountable and guide students in reaching their goals while maintaining academic growth.
The most effective educators are reflective. They don’t recycle the same lessons plans year in and year out without adjusting, extending, or refining them. In fact most teachers take the time to reflect immediately after a lesson, writing notes in margins or posting sticky notes all over their work area or plans to help them note areas in need of tweaking. This year, while implementing a new instructional model, I continuously hear about how a lesson didn’t fit the model, or how the collaborative group struggled with this task, or how a tool didn’t do quite what the teacher wanted it to do. This is demonstrative of good teachers reflecting on their practices. I love these shared comments.
As a coach, I use these shared comments to reflect on what our future professional development needs are, or share a resource that can do what the teacher envisioned, or I offer a different perspective or project for collaborative learning. Shared reflection forces me to reflect. I am happy to have this opportunity to reflect on what is happening within classrooms. However, sometimes I fail to reflect on my own growth as a coach. This is where blogging comes in for me. I write my reflections with the hopes that someone else might grow or share an idea to help me grow. Blogs are about reflecting, responding, and re-evaluating your actions, ideas, or decisions.
The battle of blogging comes in the time to do. Allotting yourself time for reflection is paramount. Even if you are just reflecting mentally or debriefing with a colleague/coach you need to give yourself the time to do so. To help hold myself accountable for reflection I have joined a Blogging Buddies cohort. This group of educators also blogs and will give me gentle reminders that I am not meeting my goal to blog monthly, or will comment on my blogs to give me their perspectives as educators and help me reframe my ideas or actions. This is a game changer for me. I can’t wait to get more involved with this small, but impactful PLN. I look forward to working with Eric, Alli, Deirdre,and Debra as we share our reflections with one another and offer our commentary to help one another on this journey of reflection.
Who do you share with? How do you reflect? Are you a writer, a thinker, or a sticky note poster? Are you an anticipatory reflector, or a reactive reflector? What makes you pause and ponder the events of your day? Is is a well-developed habit or is it often overlooked as taking time that isn’t readily available? If reflection makes us stronger educators, shouldn’t we purposefully devote time to the act of reflecting?
If you are looking for some new blogs to check out for ideas, please consider following and learning along with the members of my Blogging Buddies cohort.