Reflective Practice: Everything You Need to Know
Reflective practice is an exercise most people do, especially when it comes to teaching children. You use reflective exercises in almost every part of your life. Did the day go well? Why did a student act out so harshly? These are examples of reflective practice, and the informal thoughts are crucial life skills to learn. If you were to use these thoughts, you could become a better person. So, what do you need to know about reflective practice?
How do Reflective Exercises Work?
When you analyze your students, think about your day, or ask what could have been done differently, it is exercising your reflective practice. It’s a simple way to highlight the negatives and positives of a lesson. For instance, a child acts out in class. You punish them quite severely for the outburst. Whether right or wrong, you can pinpoint the positives and negatives of the reaction. It gives you the chance to say what could have been done differently and help you take a different approach in the future.
Student data can also be used to exercise reflective practice. For example, you look at their current grades and find out what can be done to improve them. You look for the good and bad points. It’s a great way to help you become a better teacher.
You do, however, need to use reflective practice throughout your teaching career. It will be a tool your students – and even you – can learn from.
Reflective Practice Advantages
Reflecting on your teaching skills or abilities allows you to become a better educator. For instance, you can look to improve your practices and teaching methods. You can find out what is and isn’t effective for students. It’s important to adapt to the changes in education and society too. Reflective practice allows you to do just that.
Students change. Every year, students adapt to new surroundings, new environments, and new social interactions; you must adapt to those changes. Your responsibilities and teaching methods will alter from year to year too. With reflective practice, you can evaluate the changes and find out how the curriculum can be updated. It could be through new lesson plans, adding or removing certain literature, or addressing student needs. It will keep students engaged too.
How to Use Reflective Practice?
It’s incredibly easy to learn how to use reflective exercises and practice.
- Survey the Class
Surveys might not appeal to your students (or you) but can hold a lot of value. For example, ask the students about their thoughts about class sizes, the curriculum, and what they dislike or like about the class. It’s a few questions that can be added to a pop quiz. Students give an honest opinion, and everyone keeps their anonymity too. It’s a great way to understand the student better.
You build a picture of what needs to be done to tailor education to the needs of the student. It helps you become a better teacher because you can understand what teaching techniques have failed or need improvement. While you don’t want to admit your current methods aren’t effective, it’s important to embrace the idea to become a better teacher and help students.
- Ask your Peers for Support
Have a fellow teacher observe your methods and ask them to give honest feedback on your performance. You can also observe their teaching habits. While you probably wouldn’t have considered it before, it’s smart because it gives you criticism to improve. It’s about making you a better teacher, so ask for peer support.
Journaling is an active reflective practice exercise to use. You write down the behaviors, responses, and reactions of the student. It’s a simple way to find out what – if anything – needs to change. You can learn what does and doesn’t work in the class which is crucial for success.
Reflective practice is a valuable tool for any teacher. You shouldn’t be afraid to use it because it does offer many advantages. You can journal, survey the class, or get your peers to help. These methods will make you a better educator in the long run.