Sometimes Friday can seem aeons away, but when it does eventually arrive you realise how quick time progresses – waiting for no one! Because of the pace and life within a school, many teachers are unable to take stock of the previous week, which can be filled with many subtle, but significant successes and failures.
Reflecting on practice usually stops at the end of the Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, but constant reflecting on your classroom teaching is essential to become a well-rounded, considered teacher. Although many will think that reflection is unnecessary, many teachers will do this subconsciously on the way home, or suddenly awaken at 3 o’clock in the morning. But getting these thoughts down on paper, or within a private digital notebook/blog etc can help ease the burden on your mind. In fact, athletes have on streaks and off streaks, too. But unlike many teachers, they often take the time to look back over their performance, analysing in great detail what went well, what didn’t, and what contributed to their “game” either way.
Business coach Laura Garnett sees this as a lost opportunity. In a recent Inc. article, she suggests that we could all use a bit of this athletic-style evaluation in our working lives—and proposes a series of 15 questions to ask yourself each week to reveal your peaks and dips in performance, energy, and excitement. “By going through these questions and answering them honestly, you will uncover the root cause of great or less-than-optimal performance,” she says, “make changes to enhance or avoid it going forward.”
We have slightly adapted these for educators as a means of reflecting the week. Write your responses down in an ongoing document you can reflect back on from time to time. No matter what kind of week you had today, try spending 5 minutes answering these questions and see what you can uncover about your work life.
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