I have just started the second module of a Masters in Education. This module deals with reflective practice and as part of it I have to keep a reflective log. So I have been thinking about how much reflection I do.
I’ve been writing as part of my work for a long time. I’ve written school textbooks for Ks3 Science. I’ve written the accompanying teachers guides, worksheets and helpsheets. I’ve written training courses for teachers along with whole sets of “How-To” guides with step by step instructions on how to use particular pieces of software. I’ve run this blog for many years now – sharing my thoughts with hundreds of readers a day on different aspects of technology in the classroom, and in the main on interactive whiteboards. I also use Twitter, and have over 3000 “followers”, something that still confuses a lot of people. (I’ll write about that another time)
But with all the writing I do, almost none of it includes any professional (or personal) reflection. I usually write as a means of getting information across. Of sharing something useful that I have found with my blog readers, or helping them to do something on their interactive whiteboard with a helpsheet or tutorial.
I rarely use this blog as an opportunity to reflect on my practise. I guess that this is partly because I am no longer a classroom teacher. When I read teacher blogs they are often sharing things they have done with their classes and reflecting upon it. I don’t have that to draw on these days, so I talk about what they can do instead.
A lot of the time I am wearing many “different hats” in terms of the jobs that I do. I am a PGCE lecturer at both Primary and Secondary levels. I am an interactive whiteboard trainer – delivering bespoke training to teachers, but also to the military and sometimes corporate clients. I also train teachers in different software packages such as how to do Blogging or Podcasting etc. In all my roles I am still a teacher – I still have to plan, run and deliver “lessons” – whether these are 90 minutes after school or a whole day.
I may not be teaching children any more, but it’s still teaching. I like the term “Teacher Educator” which covers most of my varied roles.
It’s a measure of my love of / reliance on* technology that on the first day of the Masters module, where the talk was of getting the right kind of book for reflecting in – that my thoughts immediately turned to a way of doing this using the computer. I’ve had handwritten notebooks before and they usually end up a mess – I tend to doodle all over it and it looks unsightly. I like the pristine nature of a Word document which means I can’t scribble all over it. I like the safety net of being able to rework / draft and edit what I have written. I’ll try not to obliterate it completely for this task – and will try and strike text out rather than delete if I change my mind about something later on.
I see many teachers using their blogs for reflective discussion about their teaching practice, and I am considering posting extracts from my reflective log here for others to read, should they wish. Some stuff will remain private, but if it’s useful I’ll copy some of it up here too.