Reflective teaching means looking at what you do with your students, how you teach, why you do what you do, and thinking about if it works. It is a process of self-observation and self-evaluation and it will lead to better self-awareness and confidence. By collecting information about yourself and your way of teaching, and by analyzing and evaluating this information, it helps you identify and explore your own practices and underlying beliefs. This will lead to changes and improvements in teaching. Reflective teaching therefore means professional development which begins in a dialog with students and colleagues.
How to start, how to get a better picture of how you teach and interact with your students?
Invite a colleague to participate to your lesson. Or as we do, do team teaching! We have arranged different learning opportunities for students from different areas in vocational studies, for example we have mixed successfully business, media and healthcare studies.
Team teaching has been very good learning and developing opportunity for us. It has been refreshing to work with colleagues from different areas. Even though the teachable subject might have been out of our comfort zone, we have been able to focus on interaction and atmosphere, and of course we have learned from the subject!
Team teaching and envolving with your reflective ability demands trust, believing and respect between colleagues. It`s very important to create an atmosphere where collective aspiration can be set free and people are keen to learn from each other. Good, respectful relationship can engage teachers to expand their thinking, to increase knowledge of what they might be lacking of and to find out the best out of everyone. Envolving with reflective ability is based on loving truthful reflection and rational discourse.
Reflection that will be given needs to be gentle, kind and constructive. When you have good reflective ability you will find success in learning and improving. The truth is, when you open up yourself to a growth it makes yourself more you. The challanges you meet won´t swallow you completely, instead you have the tools to deal with them.
One of our projects that we did, supported by team teaching, was Improving Young People’s Mental Health. Sorry the video is in Finnish, but focus on the feelings!
Video Students from Kpedu
Written by Annele Heikkilä