11 dez 2018 and My Final Reflections as a Senior Educator in a Very Peculiar Year
This post is specially dedicated to Roberta Caiado, Dóris Arruda C. Cunha and Karl H. Efken, three of my professors who have enlightened me with their thoughts, ethics, perseverance and wisdom and have helped me change my personal and professional life for better.
Before writing this post, I was revisiting another one I wrote (a long time ago) about “Reflective Practice” which, for me has to do with a way of internally reflect and study your own experiences to improve the way you work. The act of reflection is a great way to increase confidence and become a more proactive and qualified professional. Reflecting has helped me improve the quality of my job and shorten (if not close) several gaps between theory and practice.
“Evidence-based practice needs to retain a practical focus and to build a reflective practice”
Photo taken from ELT Pics “Reflections” by @CliveSir
Usually reflecting is timing consuming, sometimes painful, it demands from us a lot of critical thinking and an open mind to develop new perspectives. In addition it might be a journey you’ll need to share and ask for help.
I believe and I have experienced that reflecting on what my role as an educator is, demands an internal exam of self and of the situation – it has to do with experience and the awareness of issues or situations that do not unfold in the way we would expect, and it consequently takes us to a critical analysis (thinking in action) which leads both to the examination of feelings and knowledge.
Where I am at the moment:
Another year is about to come to an end and I bet, for a lot of us teachers and educators in general, at least in Brazil, it was another year of struggle, a mix of different feelings, a lot of work, doubts and finally the upcoming uncertainty regarding the new economical and political winds which have already started to blow.
Being in the market for quite a long time (almost 37 years), I have reached the position of a senior teacher, of the DOS of a school as well as many other leading posts. Now I see myself as teacher and as a leaner again. A completely different learner and teacher: more mature, more critical and with more power of choice, yet older, full of energy to fight for justice and seeking good quality both for working and for living.
Last but not least, for the New Year I have decided I will try hard: to read, study and reflect even more, to think more critically, to be a lot more critical about my work, my studies, about life, about my role as a woman with the different roles I play, to keep my heart and mind open for my students wants and needs, for the teachers I help to form and develop and to be less perfectionist, bearing in mind that teaching and learning is a two-way process of caring and sharing, good communication, knowledge and effective practice. Finally I will come back to reflecting again on how my learning and teaching have impacted my life and the others’, hoping to have made some difference, from the bottom of my heart.
Oh! And also I will listen to the winds of my soul! Why not?
May 2019 come!
Happy New Year!