Reflecting On The Week That Was…

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Well here I am writing my first ever blog post from the delights of a service station, Leicester Forest East on the southbound side to be precise, reflecting on ‘The Week That Was…’

The start of Spring Bank was shared with friends from Yorkshire, the highlight being a much anticipated visit to the Shard. The panorama was truly breath-taking, enhanced further by a stunning sunset and reflections both in the water and windows.

Now that I am no longer a full-time teacher, I do not view half terms breaks as holidays. My week involved training the wonderful Health Mentors of Evolve, first with Team Tarling in London, then with the Pioneers in Birmingham.

The Pioneers training day focused on importance of Reflective Practice (RP). We looked at the work of Brookfield and his 4 lenses to becoming a critically reflective teacher, as well as considering the influential work of Schon, Kolb et al.

However, it was not just published academics who were to inspire us. The Health Mentors also considered the wise words of Dave Hulston (@dhulston), from his work, ‘Roots and Routes’:
Who are we?
Where are we?
Where are we going?
These three underlying principles or guiding questions were developed further to include:
How are we going to get there?
Who will we travel with?

It was acknowledged that there are barriers to RP, mainly to do with time. However, the benefits of RP to both the individual and organisation are immense. We considered ways to facilitate RP, for example:

  • Self and peer assessment

  • Problem-based learning

  • Personal development planning/portfolios

The latter method included reference to the outstanding work of Oliver Quinlan (@oliverquinlan) who shared the blogs of students at Plymouth University. For further details, click here and here.

The words of Confucius were highlighted during the day:

By three methods we may learn wisdom:

First, by reflection, which is noblest;

Second, by imitation, which is easiest;

and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

With this in mind, we recognised that reflection often involves recognition of the mistakes we make. We realised that making mistakes are good, but only if we learn from them.

Later in the week I had the chance to catch up with Chris Mayoh (@chrismayoh) who was reflecting on his recent recce to Russia and how he now intends to take his latest route to the International School in Moscow. I admire Chris’ courage and look forward to hearing more.

So the end of an eventful, if not entirely relaxing week is here and I will reflect further, now knowing that:

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