Goal 5: Reflections – Playing the Devil’s Advocate

Challenge number  5 of the 30Goals Challenge is a call for reflection.

I think that all the teachers that invest in blogging and discussing education after a long day at school (some of my colleagues would say I’m really crazy if they knew I actually do just that) are reflective people by definition.  We don’t need much encouragement to reflect on what we do – just look at the excited repsonses to this challenge!

I think some of are so open to reflection that I’ve decided to “play the devils advocate” and warn against TOO MUCH REFLECTION!

Teaching is like a relationship with your kids or your spouse in some ways. You can’t analyze every single thing you did or said that wasn’t what you planned it to be. Sometimes the interaction is more painful but you are “there” for each other tomorrow and the next day  nonetheless.

It is vital to think about your lessons and to see if your pupils understood the material, are progressing and be prpeared to change tack if they aren’t. But if you try, on a daily basis, to analyze evey single exchange in every single lesson you will become terrified of teaching. The fear of erring can be paralyzing. I’ve seen young teachers suffering from this problem!

Cecilia, in her blog Box of Chocolates gave a wonderful example of how something she said when she didn’t mean to actually worked out well!  Only those who don’t do, don’t make mistakes and its a fine line between learning from your mistakes and “obsessing” over them!

So, please reflect, but not about everything and all the time!

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