Reflection Strategies and Tools
“Corroborating extant literature, the findings show that relationships are essential to thriving: teachers need to establish multi-pronged strategies, passion and resilience along with consistent, non-judgemental support from administrative teams. . . . The teachers recommended a good work-life balance, a positive mindset, engaging in reflective practices and collaboration” (p 8).
Writing Strategies for Reflective Journals
(adapted, ATA Mentoring Program, 2016)
- about reactions to events,
- about reactions to people and
- about reactions to students.
Consider sharing your journal with
- a teacher,
- another student teacher,
- your university facilitator or
- an administrator.
Dialogue is possible with all partners within this collaborative model, provided that the partners are willing to dialogue with you.
Reread your journal entries often
- to reflect upon your progress,
- to consolidate your perceptions and
- to identify possible future strategies to follow up on.
The Journal as an Instrument of Reflection
The journal is an instrument to explore ideas, clarify impressions, express opinions and find possible solutions to your questions.
Writing in a journal is giving a voice to your ideas and finding new ways at looking at old ideas.
The journal helps you in
- speaking to your collaborative partners when they are absent,
- generating your understanding of our theories and
- making personal discoveries while thinking out loud.
The journal can
- become a reason to celebrate, confirm our beliefs and grow and
- become a record of what you have accomplished, what you thought about along the way, perhaps what you would have wanted to happen (description, explanation and reflection).
Keywords for Journaling
Here are a few keywords to help you get started:
- I saw . . . (observation)
- Why . . . ? (questions)
- When . . . ?
- Who should . . . ?
- I wonder if I . . .
- I wonder why this occurred . . . (speculation)
- I am discovering
- I feel like . . .
- I wish I could . . .
- I think that . . .
- I can . . .
- I want to . . .
- I like . . .
- I learned . . .
Kutsyuruba B, and K D Walker, eds. 2017. The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective. Burlington, Ont: Word and Deed Publishing.