The it to memory. As someone who has embarked

The
Reflective Teacher

Being
a teacher is not just a case of presenting oneself in front of a
group of students and being able to teach them. It is essential for
teachers themselves to learn lessons each time they teach, evaluate
what they do and where necessary, alter their approach. This essay
will attempt to pinpoint some of the moments in my training thus far,
that have had the greatest impact on my teaching and look at how
having reflected upon them has altered my approach. Having spent
time reading around the issue of ‘reflecting’ it has become apparent
to me, that taking the time to log an event or an emotion after a
situation is exceptionally beneficial, as it implants it to memory.
As someone who has embarked on a new, challenging, fast-paced
profession, I can unquestionably see the benefits of reflectively
analyzing my practice and would concur with Bolton (2014) that one
takes greater meaning and understanding of an event, if it has been
written down.

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Over
the past few months, I have considered my actions and feelings with
regard to my experiences in teaching many times, and the occasions
upon which I have reflected for the purposes of this essay are from
both the classroom and the lecture theatre. They are all pertinent,
as they have had an impact on the way I prepare for lessons, set
expectations and manage behaviour, consider the feelings and
situations of those I am in contact with and also the way in which I
view myself and consider my own well-being.

The
value of reflection on lesson preparation

Positive
and negative experiences are crucial to one’s development as a
teacher, but reflecting upon an unfavourable incident has
unequivocally had a substantial impact on my views to lesson
preparation. Having been asked to teach a Maths lesson, I prepared
what I deemed necessary, but as it transpired “this was a lesson I
found extremely challenging to teach and as a result, my confidence
in teaching Maths took a real knock” (Appendix 1). As a result of
reflecting, however, I was able to acknowledge a number of factors.
Firstly, I could have critisied the discombobulating slide for my
failure, but it was important that I acknowledge it was my own
inattention that caused me to falter. Secondly, after feeling
humiliated at failing, I was aware that my mood towards the children
changed; I became impatient and fractious with them and I regretted
this.

More
positively, I recognised that I’d been able to ‘reflect-in-action’,
this being the type of reflection that Donald Schon described as
“thinking on your feet” (Schon 1983: 54). “I thought swiftly
and sought the help of the partner teacher in the next door
classroom” (Appendix 1). If I am ever faced with a similar
situation again, I would not hesitate to act in a similar vein.

My
initial feelings following this lesson made me doubt my ability, but
after speaking to my colleague (my “critical friend” (Bassot
2015: 97)) who was able to put me at ease, I was able to accept that
this didn’t have to be a negative experience. In
addition, after
reviewing my notes from hearing
Ben
Walden of “Contender Charlie”, I was also encouraged that
I’d managed to; “keep oneself
calm, remain positive and
retain
one’s dignity, as teaching is an art form” (Appendix 5). I have
since ensured that I do all I can to fully prepare for lessons so I
am not faced with a similar predicament again.

The
value of reflection on setting expectations and managing behaviour

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