Every night I think to myself about my day at work. My mind runs ninety miles an hour thinking if I did everything I needed to do, and if I did it with gusto, flare, purpose, passion, honesty, pizazz, and in a caring manner. As an instructional leader, I have many irons in the fire at one time, and it can be challenging to ensure that I take care of the needs of students, teachers, and the campus so we are successful and are progressing towards our goals. For this reason, I am constantly reflecting on my day.
For teachers, many of them reflect, but many do not. In the 1970s, Lortie (1975) described how failing to reflect on teaching decisions leads to teaching by imitation rather than intentionality. Teachers who enter the educational profession have already had years of “observation” as students themselves and have developed preconceived ideas of what teaching is through having watched others do it. Depending on the types of teachers they had growing up could very well be the same type of teacher they become and mimic in the classroom. My problem with this is that today’s students are not the same students that they were in the classroom. They do not learn the same way, and resources have changed as well.
With this said, I ask educators two questions.
HAVE YOU REFLECTED ABOUT YOUR CRAFT TODAY?
DO YOU REFLECT EVERY DAY?
Many times when I think about my day, in my head, I may have figuratively pointed the finger at a staff member for something that occured; when after self-reflecting, I find that I could have done something differently to help the situation. I always tell others not to point the finger at anyone because there are three more fingers pointing back at yourself. Self-reflection is key for your own progress and in any system.
Lortie, D.C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.