The benefits of reflective practice
What is reflective practice?
Reflective practice is the act of assessing your own thoughts and actions for the purpose of personal learning and development. For a lot of people, this act is something that is natural and instinctive. For others, it's something you need to actively work towards. It is the idea of learning from experience.
What is the purpose?
Reflective practice helps us explore ideas and apply them to our experiences. It encourages growth and improvement. It can be applied to any profession or personal situation. It is a continuing process where you analyze and evaluate an experience to learn and gain insight to positively improve client outcomes. The whole goal is to lead to changes and improvements in our professions.
As teachers and therapists we need to think about what you did, why you did it, how you did, and if it worked.
By collecting information about what goes on in our classrooms and sessions and analyzing that information, we can lead to change and improvement in our teaching.
You might be talking to a coworker and say, "My students didn't understand that lesson at all" or "I've been working on this concept with this child for a month and he still doesn't seem to get it." THAT is the beginning stages of reflection. However, if we don't spend time focusing and discussing what actually happened we might jump to conclusions. We may only remember those louder students reactions or we may only remember what the child didn't do. Reflective practice involves a systematic approach of collecting, recording, and analyzing our thoughts and observations to make change.
Think about these things:
At the end of every lesson: QUESTION:
Lastly, in the book People Skills, Neil Thompson suggests six steps to reflection:
Remember, reflection is a natural thing for humans to do. It only takes a little more conscious effort on your part to become a reflective practitioner and improve the learning of both yourself and your students. You may decide to do something a different way, or you may discover proof that what you're doing is the best possible way-and THAT is what reflective practice is all about.
Liz Molina M.S. CCC-SLP