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Being a teacher is not a simple task that one can just sit back and do their job relaxingly. A good teacher needs to be determined and committed to their work in improving their teaching techniques. Self-reflection is not something to be taken lightly. It is a very important aspect of the step toward improving one’s quality as a professional teacher.
Self-reflection refers to an activity or process in which an experience is recalled, considered, and evaluated, usually in relation to a broader purpose. It is a response to past experience and involves conscious recall and examination of the experience as a basis for evaluation and decision-making and as a source for planning and action. Self reflection is a thinking process in which an individual seriously considers and thoughtfully judges prior experience of the self. The consecutive engagement in reflection commonly leads the self to generate a change in conceptual perspectives
My brief experience in teaching allows me to understand and appreciate the art of self-reflecting. Recording lessons seems to be pretty much the ultimate method of self-reflection. Reflecting back on one’s performance during a lesson is a great way of detecting and investigating the strength and weaknesses of a lesson. From preparing, recording the lesson and finally analyzing the video recording, I have learned a great deal of skills through this profession.
I am determined now that self-reflection in teaching involves changes in the way we usually perceive teaching and our role in the process of teaching. Teachers who explore their own teaching through critical reflection develop changes in attitudes and awareness which they believe can benefit their professional growth as teachers, as well as improve the kind of support they provide their students. Self-reflection is a valuable tool for self-evaluation and professional growth. I believe that experience alone is insufficient for professional growth, but that experience coupled with reflection can be a powerful momentum for teacher development.
Self-reflection involves moving beyond a primary concern with instructional techniques and “how to” questions and asking “what” and “why” questions that regard instructions and managerial techniques not as ends in themselves, but as part of broader educational purposes. Asking “what and why” questions give us a certain power over our teaching. We could claim that the degree of autonomy and responsibility we have in our work as teachers is determined by the level of control we can exercise over our actions. In reflecting on the above kind of questions, we begin to exercise control and open up the possibility of transforming our everyday classroom life.
The process allows me to assess my understanding of what being a reflective teacher really means. I’ve learned that the method of recording a lesson for deeper analysis is the best way to uncover information about our own teaching techniques in a lesson, information that is inaccessible through other method of self-reflection. I felt that the lesson needs to be more formal, or as similar to how a day-to-day classroom would be. In that sense, the students would be more in the mood of formal learning. I would also recommend the use of only one cameraman, as to avoid any other visual interference of the video recording, such as another cameraman moving around trying to record the lesson.
By Hedelyn Dumayag