Should educator reflection look more like the Apple Distinguished Educator application?
When do we really have time to engage in high-quality, in-depth reflection about our work? As much as we might wish otherwise, the reality is that we don't, and when forced to do so in the more traditional sense (e.g., filling out goals and evaluations), we kick and fuss about it because so much else in our lives seems more important.
The ADE application happened in the middle of my busiest, most chaotic time in the school year. Did I have a lot of other important matters to attend to? Heck, yes. But I made time for it anyway. Not because it could result in some tangible reward, but because I love my job, am proud of the work my students and I do together, and would like that work to be recognized.
But I was surprised at the depth of reflection I had to engage in to create the video portion of the application (see above.) Two minutes to share who I am as an educator and how I incorporate technology? Yikes! It was a daunting--in fact, intimidating--concept. But of all the reflective activities I've engaged in over the past few years, it was by far the most effective. It not only revealed what I'm proud of, but also clarified the areas in which I still need to grow. And isn't that the whole point of self-reflection?
So I wonder...what if our professional goal-setting and reflective activities were like this? What if we asked teachers to create a video, or presentation, or multi-media project instead of filling out forms? And more importantly, what if the ultimate purpose of those reflective projects was to share them with each other and our larger communities?