The business of reflection in determining the true good cannot be done once and for all... It needs to be done, and done over and over and over again, in terms of the conditions of concrete situations as they arise. In short, the need for reflection and insight is perpetually recurring.
~John DeweyI must preface this post with an apology for taking so long to write - I cannot actually believe that my last entry was at the beginning of October! It is not fair to say I've been busy - every teacher I know is exceedingly busy and yet many of them manage to write articulate, thought-provoking and at times, inspirational pieces regularly in their blogs. So, what happened? More importantly, how shall I remedy this?
In an attempt to 'work smarter' I am trying to bring the different aspects of my current context together. I cannot add the continual update of my class blog to this endeavor (which is a labour of love that I will always find time to maintain), but I can aim to focus my professional activities; a bid to stop spreading myself too thin and to participate more actively in my professional learning network.
What am I involved in?
One of the most time consuming activities educators face is keeping up with professional reading. There are just so many fantastic books and articles ~ and I love to read! What I found difficult was remembering where all of the great ideas were coming from - Was it in this article? That book? So, I began a professional reading journal that would help me to remember the key points and my thoughts about the reading. A helpful idea for me, but another time consuming task that did not lend itself to sharing and learning from others' thoughts about the material.
As a PYP teacher and workshop leader, I am also continually reflecting on my practice and thinking of ways to capture what inquiry based teaching and learning looks like in the classroom (my students are the most wonderful participants in this undertaking!) The creation of videos and reflective journals again takes time and while I was documenting what I might be doing, it didn't really help me to expand on this. What are other teachers doing? How are they approaching inquiry in their classes? How can we share these experiences?
Finally, I've decided to participate in a course with colleagues and work toward a Certificate in Educational Technology. Another amazing learning opportunity ~ being able to share and explore with colleagues, thinking critically about the ways in which we integrate technology in our classrooms and develop digital literacies - highly engaging conversations. Again, incredibly time consuming, but more importantly - how can we share the conversations with a wider network? Learn from the collective wisdom of our shared learning communities?
Bringing it Together ~ a potential solution
Professional reading, personal practice and coursework - how to align these practices and bring them together? And then it hit me ~ through my blog of course! I sometimes can't believe how hard it is to see the easiest of solutions. Why have I been separating all of my professional work, creating separate writing tasks, when I have a blog? This is even more embarrassing as I am an advocate of blogging; often talking about the value of this practice both for teachers and for students? And so, taking a moment to reflect on my practice (ironic isn't it!) I am now 're-inspired' to continue with my blog.
Next post ~ soon!