Tomorrow, we will begin our second week of the 2011-12 school year. My perception (hopefully accurate) is that the first week with students went well. As we go through the year, our school will be making changes to address areas of concern related to student performance, however, we will be doing so with a great deal of reflection, deliberation and planning–not changing for the sake of change.
During our week of “pre-student” staff development, we discussed how we can avoid complacency through renewed passion and thoughtful reflection. As a means of putting words into action, we identified three questions to guide our decisions.
These three questions are fairly intuitive and provide a quick check on the merit of our actions. Reflective, and deliberate, teaching practice is key to making meaningful change that has a positive impact on our students. It is also important to recognize that these three questions serve as a guide and should not impede acceptable risk taking in the classroom. We need to reflect on our teaching practice, adequately prepare for classroom activities and consider what is in the best interest of our students. However, careful reflection will often lead us in a new direction–especially when we consider the third reflection question: does it serve the best interest of students? Instead of impeding innovation, reflective practice often leads to acceptable risk taking…they are not mutually exclusive.