Saturday, March 10, 2007

Time to reflect

I have been trying to go back and look at posts that I have clipped in Bloglines the last few days, and I ran across this one by Anne Davis in which she reports on a TRLD Conference speech by Ellin Oliver Keene about giving students time to think and teaching them about thinking. I was struck by the obviousness of this, the simplicity of it. And yet, looking at my own classroom, I wonder how much I do it.

I know that I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to have something "happening" in my classroom all the time. It has to be something we can all see for it to be real, too. Reflection doesn't seem to fit the bill. And yet I know it is important. Obviously, this refelction could take the form of journaling, but sometimes that just doesn't seem appropriate.

I was told once that there wasn't much sense in me sitting with my students in the computer lab as they worked on different activities. The feeling was that there should be more direct instruction going on. And yet, if I don't see where students have questions, how do I know what to teach them?

I wonder sometimes if this isn't somehow connected to our discomfort with silence. We seem to feel a need to fill the void silence creates rather than appreciating its value in our lives.

Wherever I end up in my next job, I want to build time for reflection into it. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

1 comment:

John said...

Doesn't this get to the question of what does learning look like? versus What does teaching look like? Supervisors may like it when it looks like we are doing something, but as you point out, as learners we, and our students, sometimes need to "do nothing", i.e., reflect?
I can remember once when students were working well in groups, and I started going from group to group asking if they needed help. One student told me to relax they were doing fine by themselves.

Thank you for writing such a thought provoking post.