Reflection

I talked about change in my last blog. I’m not done with that topic yet!

I’ve always considered myself to be a reflective person. I don’t think I would have made it in this profession if I weren’t. I know I wasn’t a very good teacher to start out with. At times, I felt like I was playing teacher – just emulating what others had done before, and not really understanding what I was doing. Now I look back and I really feel sorry for the students I had those first few years.

It was by watching other teachers and finally coming to the point where I was willing to start taking risks that I felt things began to change. It was also about that point that I really began to reflect on the practice of teaching. It was the struggles that I found in different areas of practice that drove me to really reflect on what I was doing and what I needed to do.

When I was taking my initial teacher training there was very little focus on reflection. When I began working on my Master’s, it was my first introduction into formal reflection.  I really didn’t enjoy the written reflection, but it certainly helped me clarify and formulate my thoughts. When I completed my Master’s I was certain that I wouldn’t be doing that again! BUT, here I am – blogging like crazy, because it turns out to be the most powerful type of reflection I have done.

I think the power of the blog is that it is for an audience. Previously the reflections were given to an instructor, whom I was never certain actually read what I had to say. Now my writing is available to a very wide audience who not only provide feedback, but sometimes resend what I’ve written to others (GO TWITTER!) My thoughts just may invoke reflection in others.

One of the messages I preached to student teachers when I had them, and continue to stress to student teachers that are in my school, is the power of reflection and willingness to grow and change. The growth that happens has to come from within. We do get input from others, and have to be willing to accept it, but no change will happen unless we take it upon ourselves to thoughtfully pursue the goals we set.

 

Darryl Propp

3 comments

  1. gbondi

    Nice post, Darryl – enjoy having you on my ‘reader’
    There’s a great quote from Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone about the power of reflection:

    “What do you hear about great groups? Not that the members are really smart but that they listen to each other. They share criticism constructively. They have open minds. They’re not autocratic. And in our study we saw pretty clearly that groups that had smart people dominating the conversation were not very intelligent groups”

    The power of reflection that you are stressing will help teachers (and students) develop the habits of being observant, appreciate the power of considering multiple perspectives and, maybe most importantly, help them become comfortable in challenging preconceptions (and you’re right, blogging and tweeting definitely promote this).

    Great leadership lesson – thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Making Your School a Place Where People Want To Work « The Learning Principal

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