Stop And Reflect

We had an interesting exercise at our final staff meeting for the term where we had an A5 sheet of paper with a six cell table printed on it. In the six cells were writing prompts that were designed for reflection and some forward planning. I actually found it hard to really identify that I wanted to highlight for each section. I picked out something for each heading but internally I was dissatisfied with my choices - but I was under time pressure. After hearing some of my colleagues' responses, I realised that I was being too harsh and unrealistic and that even seemingly small triumphs are worth acknowledging and sharing. Ironic, that I strive to be open in this space but open f2f interaction with people I work alongside of daily is something that is harder to achieve.

Anyway, so that I can recycle the piece of paper and keep my responses for future reference, I'll post and expand on my choices. Perhaps one of my readers may want to use this idea with their staff or suggest some better prompts for me.

(1) My biggest WOW with my colleagues in my learning team.

I wrote: Thanks to Chris Harbeck, I used and then introduced the Glass Bead Game as a tool for our students in their Identity Unit. I used his original Gliffy template and got the kids to plot themselves and connections to their peers based on their similarities. Now this activity has been redesigned and re-used across four middle school classes. Chalk another win for global learning network interaction.

(2) My biggest WOW with my class.

Starting our class blog and getting comments from places like New Zealand and England. It showed the kids a small snippet of the potential power of a web band publishing portal. The important thing is to rebuild the initial momentum and excitement so that its current dormancy doesn't end as yet another good idea that failed to get off the ground.

(3) Collaboration / co-planning has enabled me to...

...keep pushing colleagues towards digital collaboration and resources. I offered workshops in social bookmarking, accessing online video sites and classroom blogs. I've been available for quite a lot of "just-in-time" technology learning and tried to empower teaches with their own trouble shooting skills.

(4) My plans for the holidays are... with the kids, spend time with my family, a couple of rounds of golf, do some blogging, go to see Jimmy Wales, finish my e-portfolio research grant write up and get organised for my AST1 reassessment.

(5) My proudest achievement this term...

... was managing to balance classroom duties and expectations (four days a week) with my coordinator commitments. Not saying that I can't improve or that things went smoothly all of the time but the juggling act is certainly harder than just being responsible for a full time class.

(6) My professional goal for Term 2 is ...

... my AST1 reassessment, and blogging with my class, hopefully leading to individual student blogs.

This reflection exercise was more valuable than I was willing to give it credit for at the time. Next term will probably be just as busy.

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