Action-reflection sandwiches


To support a recent post about reflection followed by action, which was teacher-oriented, here is an interesting take on the same topic, but in a business environment. It’s by my favourite Dan Rockwell aka Leadershipfreak: a self-reflection ‘sandwich’ where reflection is just a thin layer of peanut butter between two hefty slices of action. He ends the post with a list of useful journal questions to reflect on the actions of the day, such as ‘What did I plan to do?’, ‘What actually happened?’, and ‘What do I really want?’. I’m almost tempted to cook a series of my own action-reflection-action sandwiches on this blog!

Always look on the bright side of things


And here is something positive to get the new working week started. George Couros is thinking about the power of assumptions in education. When we assume that ‘Students don’t want to learn’ or ‘Teachers don’t want to change’, perhaps it would be better to say: ‘Students need us to acknowledge their current strengths and start from there?’ Or ‘Teachers would like to help their students, but they need a better understanding of how change can help them do it”?

Isn’t it true of many other things at work and in life in general?



Development all around


There are countless articles and blog posts online about all the great opportunities for continuous professional development for Internet-savvy teachers. Lana’s post about ‘no size fits all’ CPD begins with a similar idea – yet there is a very important difference: she stresses the downsides or ‘pitfalls’ of each development path, e.g. online courses should be used selectively, reading won’t help if you don’t get rid of your hidden biases…

Very useful, especially when you start to panic that there is too much learning out there and no time to do it all!

Timesavers for the reflective teacher


When was the last time you had to write your lesson reflection? I remember staring at my blank screen for ages: how do I even start?.. After all those formal obs and post-obs, reflection seems a chore, and teacher journals a form of torture – unless you ask yourselves the right questions. Martyn Clarke’s post on the OUP blog can help you do just that.

There are five ready-made activities: about changes in your teaching, your ‘mistakes’ and successes, relationships with colleagues and even your emotions during the working week – and two sets of prompts: one to help you zoom in on the details of your experience and the other to encourage reflective thinking. Any of the tasks can be lifted off the page and carried into a peer professional development group, or a mentoring conversation, or a self-reflection journal. Easy and fun!

I’d probably start with my teaching mistakes, and you?

P.S. And for those who got to the end of this post, here’s a tiny plug for Martyn’s upcoming webinar on classroom research. He is my MA tutor, so I know it’s going to be good 😉