A few weeks ago, I decided to try something, I locked all my devices and just used a piece of paper to reflect on my morning.
The words came in so easily and I felt almost pain on my hand as I was writing so fast and I am not used to doing that anymore. In a way, I thought that having a device to type my thoughts would be better and at the same time, I just enjoyed experiencing the joys of writing.
I often think that reflecting and blogging are two different things. Most likely your posts are going to be full of reflections but what you write can also be stories, information about something, a special event that is happening or will happen, all sorts of things.
Reflecting requires critical thinking, thinking about why you did something, how did you do it, how your students did it and what they thought about it and why.
When we reflect, we consider deeply something that we might not otherwise have given much thought to. This helps us to learn. Reflection is concerned with consciously looking at and thinking about our experiences, actions, feelings, and responses, and then interpreting or analyzing them in order to learn from them (Atkins and Murphy, 1994; Boud et al., 1994). Typically we do this by asking ourselves questions about what we did, how we did it, and what we learnt from doing it. Reflecting on academic or professional practice in this way may make your personal beliefs, expectations, and biases more evident to you. This understanding of yourself should help you to carry out your studies more successfully since it makes you aware of the assumptions that you might make automatically or uncritically as a result of your view of the world.
I like to share what I wrote on my notebook in those 10 minutes I had for reflection.
Are you allowing yourself time during the day for reflection?
“Today we had an amazing lesson with grade 5 learners. Students were very engaged. All the stuff was ready to go for them and they couldn’t wait to get started.
We love inquiry-based learning and we know that is not just a magical recipe that works as soon as you name it. In order for the inquiry to work, we need to provide the tools and strategies to our students so they can be independent learners.
To foster agency, it’s important to be aware of the opportunities, ideas, and resources we share with students. Provocations play an important role in this too.
I find that the Rhythmic Gymnastics UOI can be very interesting, engaging and fun for all students, yet, you need to find the right strategy to teach it and the students are the ones who own the learning.
I find that sharing the key concepts, learner profile attributes and attitudes of the unit have helped learners to “buy-in” and enjoy the learning that is happening in the unit, rather than doing nothing and losing motivation.
After warming up with a game, students started exploring different ways to manipulate a small foam ball. Once they felt a bit confident with tossing and catching or passing to each other or rolling balls and receiving their partners, they started to toss and do a leap or jump before receiving the ball.
I had printed QR codes of levelled videos of skills they could learn while using a ball.
I had also a number of balances and rolls posted on the walls for them to practice with and without the ball.
Students knew that they could challenge themselves to try something new and perseverance showed them that they could be successful.
One of my favourite things that happened during that lesson was to listen to a learner as he was about to leave the gym. He learned how to toss the ball, do a perfect forward roll, stand up and catch the ball. He was reflecting on the importance of the toss and how it wouldn’t work if he wouldn’t toss the ball properly.”