Schools can only be cultures of thinking for students if they are also cultures of thinking for adults – Ron Ritchhart
And so begins my journey to allow more time for myself, the teacher, to think about and reflect on the culture of thinking that I am developing for the 24 students in my care. Schools are busy places and so often the professional dialogue, reading and writing that helps teachers improve their practice is neglected. Why is it that this vital aspect of our development as professionals so easily falls to the wayside? Often, I have tried various ways to make this reflection time an essential part of my routine, but, a week or two into the term, the hectic life of a teacher takes over. Blogging is my attempt to inject greater reflection into my teaching practice.
The idea of blogging has been on my radar for some time now, inspired by reading various posts by Dean Shareski and George Couros, amongst others. But, it is easy to put these kind of projects off, always hoping for a better time to come along. As teachers, we all know that the ‘right time’ will never come. We just need to dive into the deep end. A procrastination tool for me has been finding a lens through which to blog. All the teachers I see blogging seem to have a lens; their ‘thing’, something they are particularly passionate about. Deciding to start writing has encouraged me to think about the elements of teaching about which I am especially passionate. Thinking and technology seemed to be the two aspects that kept popping up. Making student thinking central to my classroom culture has always been an important part of my teaching, and as technology has grown over the past few years, finding ways of helping students create, connect and collaborate has been a key focus of my teaching practice. Of course, there are many other areas of teaching about which I am passionate about, but it is these two key ideas that I plan to focus on when writing my reflections or ‘confessions’, as the title of this blog indicates.
How can teachers find ways to make reflection an essential part of our teaching routine? How can schools facilitate this?