I may be alone in my thoughts but I think that being a teacher is becoming more complex each year. I have spoken to a number of teachers about how they are travelling and their united response is “very busy”. Tackling a full timetable, meetings,prep.work, marking , PD plans etc. is a tough gig and I have the utmost respect and admiration for the teachers who are at the grass-roots of teaching. Last night during my reflection time (a short 5km run) I was thinking of what is pivotal in a teacher and their practice. I have narrowed it down to three words – Think , Reflect and Tell.
Think – what am I trying to achieve in my lesson/s today? Have I set up the structure so that students learn best. Do I know my students and the way they learn? Am I ready ? Am I passionate?
Reflect – How did my lesson go? Did I achieve what I wanted Yes or No? Do I need to change anything? If I was a student in my class, would I have achieved the goal of the lesson?
Tell– share your thoughts with someone. Am I accountable to another teacher? Am I mentoring someone?Do I share my practice, so that others are encouraged?
If we as educators aren’t thinking about what we are teaching then how can we be sure that the students are engaged? If we aren’t reflecting on how the lesson went then how do we know the outcomes we wanted have been achieved? If we aren’t sharing our practice then how can we encourage others in theirs or discover new ideas that may enhance our teaching?
I believe that if you are thinking through and acting on these three simple words regularly then you will be fruitful in your teaching. There is no need for long essays in response to these questions or more meetings to discuss your thoughts, just simple short conversations in the staff room or prep areas with your collegues. My greatest reflections of the day happen when I run ( or jog these days!), I find the solitude of this pursuit refreshing for my mind and body.The last thing on my mind is to add more to the “things to do ” list , if it is like mine it will never be done. The whole idea is to provide a workable solution to a pivotal part of our teaching practice.
Three simple words that have great potential…..
“Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.”