Thursday, December 19, 2013

What is reflective teaching? And how does blogging contribute to reflective teaching?

Each time I click on one of your blog posts, I am reminded that blogging while teaching provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn from each other.

I tend to blog when I have a lot of free time, such as during the summer or over spring break. This past summer I blogged regularly. Once the school year began, my blogging time diminished.

I want to start writing each day for the rest of the school year. Like everyone, I am sure I am not alone in finding little time to do much more than grade, lesson plan, and spend some time with the family. Squeezing in blogging can be done. Numerous people I follow on Twitter have regularly remarked that though blogging while teaching does require a decent amount of effort and commitment, the benefits of doing so are immense.

What’s so significant about school year blogging?

School year blogging, as opposed to summer blogging, is powerful because the time spent blogging can be used to discuss classroom decisions that are being made almost in real time. This experience can’t be replicated in the summer. You can also discuss and share various snippets of student work. And, maybe most importantly, you can also subject your ideas to the scrutiny of others, giving you a chance to think more deeply about your day to day choices.

Teachers who blog are invaluable because they make visible the often invisible act of reflection. Obviously, many teachers who do not blog are just as reflective, but those who do manage to blog are modeling reflective teaching.

What’s the core difference between a reflective teacher and an unreflective teacher?

An unreflective teacher acts, but his actions aren’t necessarily rooted in careful thinking. And, just as importantly, after they act, they do not go back and reflect on what happened and what didn’t happen.

Reflective teachers spend a considerable amount of energy and time thinking about what they are going to do in the classroom, as well as a considerable amount of time thinking about what happened after they taught.

This weekend I stumbled on Chris Crouch’s excellent blog, where he models what a reflective teacher does on a regular basis. Be sure to check out his blog!

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