Holiday time - thinking time
How much time are we giving to professional reflection on our own practice?
As teaching professionals we are in teaching and giving mode most of the time. This leaves very little in the fuel tank when it comes to reflecting on our own practice. It is more a case of 'thank heavens I got through this term' than 'what have I done effectively and how could I improve my practice in the future'! When you are a teacher in New Zealand the focus on teaching as inquiry features strongly in the way we teach and the way we are developing and honing our own teaching skills. This being said, for some individuals it seems to be a practice that is simply too daunting to even consider.The reasons for this are varied and could easily be glossed over when educators get engrossed in the busy-ness of everyday classroom practice.
My challenge to all of us is: do we dare not to reflect? How would we know that what we perceive as 'being the best for our kids' really serves them as well as we think it does? How would we know if what we think is relevant and interesting is culturally connected and generation-specific to the kids in front of us?
One way to address these questions is by being open to a cycle of inquiry. The inquiry model is reciprocal and iterative and not intended for isolated reflection during the early hours of the morning. Get your colleagues involved! Enter into bold and candid reflective conversations with someone that you trust professionally, but who would also not just stroke your ego. Learn from and build on what is not going so well, learn together, share the load. Maybe we'll find we're not so busy after all and have time to watch the grass grow or the clouds pass above... Dare to look up and reflect!