In this essay I will reflect on my experience in the process of gathering a reflective teaching portfolio of evidence. Reflective teaching is an individual tool that we as teachers can use to detect and assess the techniques they behave in their classroom. Schon (1987) states that “Reflective Teaching is a self-assessment of teaching, wherein an instructor examines their pedagogy, articulates reasons and strengths for their strategies, and identifies areas for revision or improvement”. Bartlett (1990) points out that “becoming a reflective teacher involves moving beyond a primary concern with instructional techniques and “how to” questions and asking “what” and “why” questions that regard instructions and managerial techniques not as ends in themselves, but as part of broader educational purposes”. I knew that as an educator we must reflect but I did not know how until I enroll in Rhodes. The process of reflective teaching supports the growth and maintenance of professional expertise. By reflecting teachers will be able to determine their own teaching through critical reflection. Through their reflection educators will be able to develop some changes in attitudes and consciousness which they believe can benefit their professional growth as teachers. As well as improving the kind of support they provide their pupils. Reflecting as an individual is very important as it helps one to be aware of his teaching philosophies and be able to change and improve his or her own teaching to be a better educator. As we already know that as a teacher we must plan our lesson before going to class therefore after teaching that lesson you need to come back, sit down and reflect on what went well and wrong. Teacher also must give learners a chance to reflect on his or lesson. By doing that educators will be able to pick up those learners who will be left behind but at the same time must be careful as some learners will say the lesson must be done again because they love it.
My experience in teaching my lesson was a bit challenging in the manner that we are a combined school with shortages of teachers, no one have free period. We had problem in finding suitable time for both of us but finally we met and discussed. The first challenge that I asked her to observe during my lesson is class management. My lesson was about testing for starch. I usually have a challenge in managing my classroom especial when they are in groups.
Furthermore, my lesson was about starch, learners participated through out the lesson. They showed interested and were looking forward in testing starch using iodine. The only challenge we had is when they wanted to eat the cooked food that we were using to test the presence of starch, but we managed to stop them from eating as it contains dangerous chemicals. After the lesson her feed back was a constructive one as she started by the good ones and lastly she told me what I need to in improve in order for me to grow. When she gave me constructive feedback, she let me know exactly what I did well and what needs to be improved. She also shared her experience.
The second meeting that we had before the lesson she is going to monitor if I have made some changes from the previous lessons comments. I have managed to control learners noise levels, everything was fine and meeting after went well. My colleague was impressed to see improvement.
Inviting someone in my class really helped me a lot. I have noticed that was too comfortable in my teaching but inviting someone over to come and observe made me realise that I need to move away from my comfort zone. Hearing someone else’s views critiques in my teaching also helped as it made me realise my mistakes and need to be improved. As she was observing I have realised that she is benefiting from my teaching techniques, share instructional techniques and ideologies. Being observed helped me to grow professional. Observation is very significant form of professional development. I used to be scared of it as if the teacher who is going to observe me is going to judge me in my teaching but realised that is going to help. Now in my classroom I am doing things differently in ensuring that my learner’s succeed. I do that by creating a warm, friendly class atmosphere which makes teaching and learning easier for all concerned. Achieving the goal was daunting for me but now I can.
This course taught me how important as an educator to reflect. Reflective teaching is something that we as teachers we have to implement in our classroom. I knew as an educator that we have to reflect but I did not know how until I enroll in Rhodes. Inviting someone in my classroom taught to be a better person who is not scared to invite a colleague. I have also learnt that the importance of reflecting.
I notice that in my school we do not reflect and we had a meeting and we talked about how to reflect by looking back at what went well first and where to improve. Now when we do class visits educators are able to reflect back on their lesson. We are sharing good practices. Reflective process supports teaching development and maintenance of professional expertise. I have improved in reflecting on my lesson with the learners.
Reflecting teacher become a lifelong longer learner as she corrects her mistakes each an everyday. The reflection includes full and deeper understanding of your teaching practice as educator in the sense that, it gives one the ability to understand where one need to improve. Boud, Keogh and Walker (1995), states that “a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciation”. If all teachers can reflect on their teaching after the lesson difference can be made to our learners, none will fail. According to Schon (1987), “Professionals need to be self-directed lifelong learners, develop the skills of self-awareness, self-assessment, critical awareness of their own practice & challenge assumptions”.
To sum up enrolling in this course helped me as it made a change in my teaching. Learners are enjoying my teaching due to the practise and the techniques I have received at Rhodes.