Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: In this video, we are going to engage in and discuss ways of reflection so that you too can embark on reflection to improve your practice. My name is Hayley Stemp from the University of Birmingham School, and I hope to help you with this part of your teaching and learning.
Skip to 0 minutes and 27 seconds ANDY VASILY: Hi everybody, my name Andy Vasily. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Vicky Goodyear for giving me this opportunity to talk about reflection and what it means to me as an educator.
Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: Reflection is an honest appraisal and a critical appraisal of our current practice. It is essential that is deliberate, purposeful, and promotes deep, serious thought to enable our practice to improve.
Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds ANDY VASILY: So reflection, to me, is a thought process that really evaluates where we are at with our teaching and with our personal selves. And I believe that it’s critical to growth in these areas. So essentially, reflection is a thought process that we go through to better evaluate and become more self aware.
Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: The habit of reflection encourages us to be reactive and developmental during our practice, to encourage us to think about what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. Ultimately, this only improves our practice and the climate we are aiming to achieve.
Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds ANDY VASILY: Absolutely. There was a time about four, maybe four years ago, four or five years ago, I was teaching a movement composition unit. And I remember during the unit my result of voice and choice and providing as many opportunities for the students to decide upon the direction of their learning. I set them off and there was probably three or four classes left in the unit, and this one group wasn’t accomplishing anything. So I would go in there and I would try to help them, and then I felt as though I got them going on the right path again. And then the next class, back to square one. They were fighting. They couldn’t get anything done.
Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds They changed their idea a hundred zillion times. So I was starting to get a little bit pissed off. And I was like, I have given you responsibility to decide the direction of your learning. You’re not showing me trust. And slowly but surely my agitation and frustration was growing and growing and growing until it reached a boiling point, and I exploded one day on them. It was highly stressful. I was trying to be there for all my groups. And I exploded on this group, and I lost it on them. Again, reflection has been a big part of what I do, so I really started to reflect on that. And I realized that I had completely screwed up as a teacher.
Skip to 3 minutes and 9 seconds And what I did was a complete disservice and injustice to them as learners because I put them in a situation that they could not handle. They weren’t ready for that freedom. So it made me re-investigate and explore my own definition of inquiry-based teaching. I overlooked the importance of evaluating and assessing to what ability that they could handle choice. So I reflected on it over the weekend. I went back, I felt like complete crap. But I apologized to them at the beginning of the next class. I said, you know what, I have done you a disservice here. I put you in a position that I shouldn’t have put you in. We still have two classes. Let me work with you.
Skip to 4 minutes and 1 second So I narrowed down those choices and started to construct possibilities from that point forward. So I saw the immediate impact, immediate, instant, like instant impact that my apology had on them and deconstructing going backwards and beginning at that point, moving foward again and putting them in a position that they had limited choice, that I had more control over the success criteria and the direction that they were taking. So I think reflection played a critical part of that and have immediate impact when I realized that I had screwed up, I apologized. And then we recovered in time for them to do really well in the unit.
Skip to 4 minutes and 50 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: By giving yourself a specific focus for your reflection allows you to detangle elements of your teaching and learning, and, therefore, enable the reflections become meaningful and purposeful rather than wishy-washy and vague.
Skip to 5 minutes and 3 seconds ANDY VASILY: Five minutes out of your 1,400 minutes a day to create a quiet space where you can just think about your teaching. Five minutes a day.
Skip to 5 minutes and 15 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: Think carefully about the groupings and the environment from which you reflect from.
Skip to 5 minutes and 20 seconds ANDY VASILY: Have a book devoted– a journal devoted to reflecting on your teaching.
Skip to 5 minutes and 27 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: Ensure that you are courageous and you really delve deep into the really hard questions and probing questions. Don’t just ask the easy ones.
Skip to 5 minutes and 35 seconds ANDY VASILY: And the last thing is find a critical partner to share your reflections with. If you can’t find somebody in person, then you find somebody online through the network on social media.
Skip to 5 minutes and 53 seconds HAYLEY STEMP: Hopefully, this video has provided you with ideas and approaches to meaningful and purposeful reflection so that you too can embark on reflection to improve your teaching and learning and ultimately the experiences your pupils have in your classroom. We’re now going to identify and share with you some tools you might use to try a reflection over the coming weeks.
Reflection as a form of evaluation
Outstanding teachers continually reflect on their practice to identify their strengths, goals, areas for development and the impact of their practice on student learning.
Hayley Stemp, teacher from the University of Birmingham School, UK and Andy Vasily, Nexus Education, China will explain their experiences of reflection and offer their tips on how reflection is a central component of evaluation.
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