I will continue writing about our Reflective Group Meetings, and this post will share the topics from the previous year, and some ideas for the new school year meetings in an attempt to make a ‘calendar’.
Introductory meeting (we discussed the idea of starting the group, ELC as a model for reflection, etc.)
One Student (this blog post describes the meeting)
Motivating Unmotivated (this post gives the idea of the meeting)
Exploring Teacher Beliefs (we looked at some ‘teaching areas’ where beliefs could be challenged or changed with time, wrote out those beliefs, analyzed where they might be coming from, shared and compared, etc.)
How to Break a Routine and Do Something New (we defined ‘routine’ in our lives and in the classroom, looked at some pros and cons of having them, and shared those that could be ‘broken’)
Learning from Failure (we shared our big and small failures and the learning from it; this session was somewhat ‘further’ from the classroom but helped us re-confirm the point of learning and reflecting as a daily practice)
Reflection as a Professional Development Tool (this was the last session in the school year before a summer break, so we looked at possible ways to reflect and talked about our plans for the coming year, including the topics shared below)
**the first five meetings had an explicit focus on the Experiential Learning Cycle: the first meeting was the first overview and a short ‘practice’ time by making Halloween bats (yes, crafts!). We then focused on each stage of the cycle in more detail in the following four meetings: describing one student, analyzing possible reasons for being unmotivated, exploring the roots for the beliefs/generalizations we have about teaching, planning SMART actions on how to break a routine. The final two meetings had a cycle ‘in mind’ and were using it to talk about the topics I mentioned.
A New School Year (a draft of the meeting plan is in this post)
This year my idea is to try having a ‘theme’ for the meetings. To highlight the importance of learning from our own experience, I suggested that ‘One’ can be that connecting element. Similarly to the meeting ‘One Student’, each new session will invite the group members to think about and share/reflect on ONE specific moment, experience, interaction in their teaching lives. Some examples are below.
- … interaction (with a student, a parent, a colleague, etc.)
- … group (of students you are working with)
- … course book (you have taught, or like, or dislike, etc.)
- … lesson (especially successful, a disaster lesson, an unplanned lesson, etc.)
- … lesson plan (the longest one, the shortest one, the strangest one, etc.)
- … observation (observing or being observed)
- … feedback (giving or receiving)
- … colleague (a critical friend, a buddy, someone who always disagrees, a difficult colleague, etc.)
- … boss
- … mentor
- … workplace
- … way to reflect
- … activity
- … minute (in my lesson this week)
- … piece of advice
- … day
That’s it for now. If you have any thoughts, questions, doubts or suggestions about any of the topics above, let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading! 🙂