It’s good to read about beliefs and practices as a teacher. In some ways my beliefs translate into practices and in some ways they don’t.
I enjoyed the reading and the web article. I enjoyed reading our teacher’s article on how she had to reflect on her learning strategies and figure out why students weren’t utilizing what they had been taught in their final project. As both a student learning teaching, and a teacher teaching – boy oh boy – have I been there.
I think internalizing and being able to apply what we’ve been taught is a challenge and it was very good to focus on reflection and scaffolding. I love to reflect and wallow in theory. When I look back at my education at SIT (and also the SIT certificate course) I was rather lucky in how much reflection, feedback and scaffolding was incorporated into the overall course of study. Very often one course would leave you with questions that the next course would answer. The questions that our teachers raised and the discussions that followed helped to clarify my own thinking. We examined our own beliefs and did activities and discussions on implicit versus explicit learning (the conclusion rather came out to be that both were needed…).
When it came to types of reflection – I like the idea of keeping a journal, but I’m lousy at actually doing it. Whenever I take notes on a class or a tutoring session that I have taught, it helps. I need to find a way to make it a habit. There is a self-reflective feedback sheet that my TESOL Cert. course teacher (Susan Berry) gave us. I should dig it out (and maybe spread it around). Peer observation – that’s a winner with me! We used it in our TESOL Cert. course; it really helped. The co-teaching model we tried out in Costa Rica was a real winner. I’d love to do something like that for a year and peer observation and feedback was part of that (though it was the whole enchillada that helped, especially the help with lesson planning!). Adviser observation and feedback helped as well, but it was the ones that were more day to day that helped the most.