Reflecting Upon Reflection

25 Jan

This semester is requiring the most reflection I have ever done in my entire life.  It’s a good thing I really like thinking about these things, but at the same time it is very difficult and thought consuming.  In EPS 350 we have been given different articles to read and have been given numerous ideas to think about.

The first idea is that of a teacher identity and of professionalism.  The idea that we have a teacher identity and that it is important to let it encompass our entire being is important in the education process.  In the book Teaching Selves by Jane Danielewicz she talks about how she is still becoming a teacher.  There is this idea of a teacher and it is what we are striving to become but it is a place that we will never actually arrive.  The process of “becoming” is ongoing.  The “teacher” is always going to be changing as society and the world is always changing, so becoming a teacher is something that needs to be happening constantly.  There are external things that help to shape you into the person that you are and you can’t control or predict those things.  You can’t expect anything to remain constant without changing, so in order to meet these changing needs you also have to change too.  We are also constantly learning and experiencing things, and the more knowledge we get from these things will change us too.  The important thing is that we identify the teacher in ourselves and we do this by reflection.

Reflection itself is where the most growth can come from learning.  When we experience things, whether they are right or wrong, we have the ability to learn from the experience.  The only way we can learn from this experience is if we do actually reflect and think about what is right and what is wrong and where we can keep things the same or fix them.  Self-reflection might be the most difficult thing to do in teaching as it can be very difficult to accept when you have made a mistake.  I have a hard time thinking about mistakes, not because I know I did wrong but because I am overwhelmed at the consequences.  I find that especially right now, when I am not in a classroom teaching, I am extremely worried about screwing up.  I’m worried that I am going to screw up the life of a person.  Teaching is such a great responsibility and it has the opportunity to produce great things and very negative things.  The thing that I am going to find difficult is letting myself screw up.  Obviously I am going to screw up, no one can do anything perfect, I just need to remember that I, as well as my students, will be able to learn from everything.  Right now I am very overwhelmed.  There is so much to remember when teaching that I am scared I can’t possibly remember it all.  I want to be a “good enough” teacher, and I am hoping that it is a good thing that I am thinking about these things and constantly changing my mind about who the best teacher I can be is.  This self-reflection could be very difficult in a sense that it will be difficult to think about these things, but also easy because it’s going to be the way to cope with these stresses in the classroom.  Self-Reflection is the time when you can make something good come out of something bad, and help not to dwell on things.  It will help me grow not only in my practice but in myself in all aspects of life.

Reflection is required in all of our education classes and I find that many of my peers don’t want to do it.  Taking the time to slow down and type out my thoughts on these things has made me think more critically.  I find reflection to be the most important aspect of my education because its challenging me to think about why I am learning what I am learning and how it is going to help me.

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