Thursday, February 4, 2010
That Workshop Book: Reflection 2
I would be willing to bet that if you asked most teachers what one of their biggest struggles with their jobs was, a vast majority would say- TIME!! There is never ENOUGH time for professional development, building meetings, teaching all subjects, conferences with students, allowing a study to end naturally, etc. We try to be so thoughtful about which aspects of our learning and our student's learning is most valuable and try to make sure those ideas take precedent (at least we shoot for a good balance). In return, I find that many ideas/beliefs fall through the cracks- not because they aren't important to my students and I- but rather- due to the fact- there is never ENOUGH time. After reading That Workshop Book- I realized that one of the ideas I have always believed in but seems to have lost its space in my classroom- was allowing my students (and myself) time to REFLECT. Samantha Bennett refers to this time as DEBRIEF. Lately, we have made sure to take the time to reflect on our learning and debrief, either as a whole class or individual/group conferences. The possibilities for the focus of this share/debrief time are "endless if you believe that student thinking matters most" (Bennett). The kids are beginning to rely on this time and, in turn, provides them with an additional PURPOSE for their learning. They know they will have the opportunity to check in and share their concerns and celebrations they have experienced with their learning. I have noticed an improvement in motivation and quality of work. I have also noticed, as the teacher, that I am more in-tune with their needs and strengths- it really helps to guide my instruction. As with my Reflection #1 post- another lesson in SLOWING DOWN and making time for what really counts!