One of my aims for this website is to reflect on my teaching practice in relation to ideas and approaches I read about. Through this reflection I am hoping to discover insights about my own practice, and how to adapt and improve it. You can read some of my recent reflections on my Snapshots blog.
What excites me is that since I have been writing on Encounteract, I can already feel a difference in how I approach my everyday teaching. Ideas can be infectious and writing provides both a breeding ground and a catalyst for new forms and energies to be put into action.
At the same time one of the challenges I have faced, with regards to writing about the inspirational teaching practices I read about, is that I only know about these approaches anecdotally, and not experientially. And while I can google these ideas (and I do!) and watch videos about them and read stories, I can’t help but feel like I should first personally observe and experience these approaches before writing about them. I just do not know enough, yet, about many progressive educational approaches, apart from their basic introduction.
With this in mind, I consider that a couple of weeks ago I promised to write a post about progressive and radical ways to increase Student Talk Time in learning spaces. I googled and thought, and scribbled and planned and in the end I have come up with the somewhat disheartening conclusion that I simply do not have good access, right now, to the resources I would need to write this piece in the way that I’d like. So I am partly here to announce that I am putting this particular article in the back burner. But hopefully not for long!
In the meantime I am going to shift focus for the next little while to follow up on another earlier post in which I wrote about the internal dialogue that runs through my head and influences my state of mind, my actions and my teaching practice every day. To me, grappling with internal dialogue falls into the realm of mental health and self-esteem, which for teachers is incredibly important and I think often overlooked. I am particularly interested in the experience of new teachers and how they themselves learn in the classroom - how to adapt, how to cope, how to be.
To help me along, I have uncovered and discovered some truly wonderful and inspiring teacher thinkers and writers who offer wisdom in the art of reflecting and growing as a tool for teacher (and classroom) health. In the next week, I will aim to write short reviews or ‘snapshots’ about some of these various writers and thinkers to contribute to the broader discussion on teacher’s mental health and resilience. Enjoy!
A daunted but determined teacher irons out the fabric of her brain.