If you’re one of the many educators heading to Austin for the 37th annual TCEA Convention & Exposition, you have probably spent a lot of time thinking about what tech to take with you, what clothes and snacks to pack, and how to cover your students or staff while you’re gone. But you may not have thought much about the most important thing in attending a conference: reflection on what you’ll learn. Research has born out what educational reformer John Dewey said:
We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.
To keep all of the learning that you’ll gain this week and to truly make it your own, you MUST reflect. Reflection is an intentional act, not accidental. It requires a quiet place and a calm mind. Some people reflect best with paper or on their device; but whichever you prefer, written thoughts are a necessity for ensuring that the learning sticks.
Also, good reflection usually leads to some type of action plan of how things will be different in the future because of the learning. It does not have to be a detailed plan, just one that can help to hold you accountable for making the change.
Here are four different ways to reflect on all of the learning that you will do during #TCEA17. Make time each day to do at least one of them.
- What was my original purpose in attending this conference/session/workshop?
- What problems have I experienced in the past that this learning might help with?
- When did most of my learning occur?
- How might I do this differently in the future?
- How might this learning shape the goals that I have set for my future?
- How might what I have learned affect my my classroom/campus in the future?
- Why was this learning meaningful to me?
- What are my personal beliefs about this experience?
- How might I change the way I learned this to better share with others?
- What was the best moment in today’s learning experience? Why?
- How might my students or staff look at this learning differently?
- Does this learning have different considerations that I might need to apply?
- What are some ways I can share this learning with others?
If you want to take your reflection to the next level, then share it with a “buddy” who can help you with implementation. Your peer can remind you over time about the change you want to make.