As I recover from the frenetic start to the school year, I was reminded (in a moment of reflection) about the value of being able to reflect! Now, before you all bombard me with abusive emails and comments, I AM aware that for many of you at the “chalkface” (particularly in public schools) this is just a ridiculous pipe dream because of the multitude of responsibilities and bureaucracy that lands on your doorsteps, but that doesn’t negate the importance of talking about it.
I always think of teaching as a cerebral activity – not so much from a high powered intellectual point of view – but more from a philosophical stance. Questions like, “Why am I teaching this, Is this the best way to teach this, Will this benefit the kids?”, etc. are ones, that when reflected upon and answered, makes us all more effective educators. Luckily, I work in a place where this is encouraged and time is built in to the schedule that will occasionally allow some “space”. It’s very useful.
I agree. At my school teachers of the same subject have common planning periods in which they can have discussions about curriculum, assessment, and instruction. It’s nice to get together and make sure that we are on the same page. Often we are struggling to answer questions like “What are we doing to enrich the learning for the students who already understand?” and “How can we help the struggling students who just don’t seem to get it?” A little bit of time is also built into our morning schedule so that students can meet with their teachers (office hours).