Teaching Effectively During the Pandemic: Develop a Reflective Routine
What is reflective teaching? It’s the process of “learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and practice” (Finlay, 2008). This simply means analyzing the effect your teaching has had on learning and then considering new ways of teaching that can improve the quality of learning.
How Can You Develop a Reflective Routine?
Teaching during the pandemic has been a taxing experience for both teachers and students. With teachers having to juggle between caregiving and work, and students feeling disengaged and distracted due to sudden changes in their environment, developing a reflective practice becomes essential. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Keep a Reflective Journal
Writing descriptions of your teaching experiences in a journal can help you understand how you could further improve. The first step is to recognize what didn’t work in the classroom so that you could proceed to the next step, which is to turn these struggles into reflective questions to improve your teaching.
2. Evaluate Struggles to Improve Your Practice
Once you’ve noticed that a certain teaching style hasn’t worked for your students, you could evaluate these struggles and ask yourself questions like “how can I check whether my students have understood important concepts?” and “how can I enable students to support each other more?”
3. Comparing Teaching Styles With a Colleague
When you invite a colleague to join you in your reflective teaching process, you could compare teaching styles, know your strengths and weaknesses, and assess areas for growth. When you both brainstorm solutions, you could improve the teaching experience for your students, as well as improve your relationship with your colleagues.
Developing a reflective routine will help you understand which teaching strategies to keep, and which ones to do differently. It will also amplify the quality of learning and improve your connection with your students. Most importantly, a reflective practice will enable you to feel more engaged with your work and make you stay in control of your teaching during the pandemic.
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