I’ve had some time the past few days to truly reflect on my year. A year in a new job with dozens of new topics to learn about and a chance to expand and focus more on other topics I’m passionate about. Although the year was filled with emotional times, steep learning curves and daily learning opportunities, I can truly say I made the best decision stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new.
I’ve loved the learning experiences I was a part of. The professional readings, conversations, and working with teachers in the classroom that expanded my thinking and understanding. Engaging in professional conversations around pedagogy changes, technology integration and throwing out grades challenged my thinking and have inspired me to change my practice.
I’m inspired and excited by colleagues around me who are pushing the boundaries, exploring new practices and changing teaching as we know it. To those who are changing the focus from marks to process, those who are incorporating more big picture ideas and those enhancing their teaching practice with technology I am grateful for the difficult work you are doing leading the way for others.
I’ve had some amazing conversations this last week with elementary and secondary teachers who are in the process of also stepping out of their comfort zones and trying something new. I’ve loved every second of their reflections, the realizations of things that worked and the determination to continue working on those that didn’t. I am thankful they were so open to share their personal reflections with me and I can’t wait to follow up with them as they continue along the path of learning and exploring.
Based on what I see with those around me, this practice of reflecting is the true opportunity for growth. Sharing our struggles and our success help to expand our thinking and improve practice. The best thing about this, when teachers strive to improve their own professional learning and beliefs, the students benefit.
Do you self reflect and have professional conversations with colleagues? Have you been inspired by others around you? Regardless of your answer, take the step now, open up, share your experiences, collaborate on solutions to problems and I promise you, your practice will transform!