Nov 14

Reflection Challenge- Week 1

Week 1

Start on your reflection journey here

 This is the first in a series of five videos helping you to reflect on your practice in an objective way.... Are you ready?

Up until March 2020, you probably saw your self as a classroom teacher. That’s what you did. That’s who you were. You were probably very comfortable doing it. I’m not an online teacher, you might have thought. But with lockdown restrictions in place, you’ve probably had to rethink those ideas as the choice to go online became more of a necessity. So how can you adjust to this New Normal? You’re in a new environment with some new practices and there are some things that you’re probably having to do differently. There are the obvious ones of learning to deal with the technology, but I think that there are other issues about teaching practices that might also need to be tweaked, that’s certainly been my experience.

I’m Jo Gakonga from ELT and in this series I’m going to encourage you to reflect on your practice and I’m going to show you four different ways to look at your teaching in a data led way.

You might be thinking- why do I have to reflect on my practice? It’s all OK. The learners keep coming back to class. They seem to be learning something. And I’m sure this is true, but reflecting on your practice is good for lots of reasons, not least of which is that it’ll keep you interested and motivated and happy in your work. And that will almost certainly have a positive effect on your learners, too.

OK, you say, but I DO reflect. I’m a good practitioner and I always think about my lesson, about how it went, about what I could do better next time. I think about it when I’m having my morning coffee, I used to think about it when I was driving home from work. This is all well and good.. and useful. But none of us have very good memories. We recall things through a misty, maybe rosy tinted, maybe grey cloud tinted haze and it’s not accurate. So, what can we do? This is where being online comes up trumps. It is super easy to record yourself on Zoom or Teams or other platforms. Just do it. Obviously ask your learners’ permission to do this, but if you explain to them that it’s just for you to watch back and that you want it for your development as a teacher (and that it won’t go on YouTube!), I think most people are unlikely to refuse.

So this is my challenge to you this week. I want you to record one of your classes. Just one. Don’t watch it back yet- just keep it stowed away in a folder somewhere. Over the next month, I’m going to give you some tasks to do with it- it’ll take you about 20 minutes each week- don’t tell me that you don’t have 20 minutes in your week for some professional development.

 That’s all you have to do this week. Record a class. And then keep an eye out for the video next week giving you your first reflection task challenge. I’m looking forward to working with you on this and seeing what you discover about your teaching.
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