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The Reflective Teacher


For the first time in my career, I’m not rushing to finish marking papers, scan machine scored exams, and write report card comments.  I’m not running around, searching for students to complete that missing test or quiz, so that I may provide an accurate grade.  Instead, as I wrap up my first year as a consultant, I am writing reports on my own work, not on the work of others.

Reporting on myself, I am finding, is a challenging task.  I am forced to think about everything I have done.  What evidence do I have to show that I was successful; that the teachers I worked with learned and changed their practice.  What evidence should I have collected instead, but didn’t?  How could I have made my work more productive?  How could I have made a bigger impact?  What needs to be changed next year, so that I can have a greater impact on teacher practice?  I find myself asking all of these questions to write my reports; but there is a secondary effect.

All of this reflection on year one is giving me great ideas; ideas I will take forward into next year to improve my practice.  I’ve always been aware of the effects of teacher reflectiveness, or so I thought.  I’ve never felt so inspired by my reflections before.  What’s different now?  Maybe I’m maturing.  Maybe it’s because I have more time to think about things now.  Maybe I’ve just gotten better with practice.  I don’t know for sure.  I can say that all of this reflectiveness will lead to some great improvements in my plans for next year, and that is all that matters.

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