Reflective Practice Challenge – Analysis (as seen on Observing the Class)

The topic of this Reflective Practice Challenge is one that is near and dear to me. I often turn to an analysis of feelings and needs when I am trying to make sense of a problem or challenge in class or in life. I am also writing a article on the topic, and so I want to highlight *the post I wrote for Observing the Class on my blog as well. John, thank you for the opportunity to share, and also thank you for your very kind and generous introduction.

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Needs & Feelings Analysis

In the last Reflective Practice (RP) Challenge (link) we started at the first stage of the Experiential Learning Cycle (ELC) and described a moment in our classrooms or workplace. The next stage in the ELC is what some might call the Interpretation stage. However, for the purposes of this challenge, we will divide our interpretation of our moment into two separate parts: Analysis and Generalization. The Generalization will come later in the challenge. For now, I’ll explain how we can move forward into Analysis. (…)

Click the original post, rpc – analysis to read the rest of the challenge.

*My intention was to “reblog” this post so that I could meet my “Post a Week 2014” goal, but I had technical difficulties, and so now I’m just cutting and pasting.

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5 thoughts on “Reflective Practice Challenge – Analysis (as seen on Observing the Class)

  1. I love your honesty Josette. The pressure of the ‘post a week’ goal. I have also set myself this goal. Each week I assess what is happening around me, thinking whether it is the thing ripe for picking and having a closer look at. This week I accidentally escaped from writing and went back into drafts. The photos would not co- operate as well with me:(. Your technical difficulties are probably far more sophisticated. You seem to have mastered the links.
    I find the reflective practice of working out others’ feelings a bit tricky. Without knowing what is happening in their homes, their culture, their past that this is just guesswork and I may be totally wrong. Even talking to them is not always enlightening. I know some students have been told not to tell anyone about things at home or what they are using as a home. It’s not really my business to know these things in great detail. I guess that my role is to make my classroom a safe and secure place for the children in my care so that they feel free to learn.
    For some of the mums who come to my parent group it is a bit the same. I don’t know everything that is happening in their lives but I can help make a couple of hours in their life a place where they have time to be themselves in a non- threatening environment.

    1. Thank you for understanding Anne! Although writing once a week keeps me grounded in the long term, the pressure is also a bit constricting. Actually I did the same as you and went into drafts for my last post as well (The Courage of Self-Compassion). I don’t know what I’ll do next week! And part of the challenge for me is also wanting to reply to comments in a more timely manner, as well as wanting to comment on other blogs. It becomes quite a time consuming project! Still a work in process. :)

      I agree with you that it is a tricky thing. I’m glad you brought that up in relation to creating a safe space. This is an important connection to make when we consider this approach. For example, if I were to offer this as an approach to reflection, I would need make sure that this topic was discussed. I think being aware of possible feelings and needs (even if I really have no idea) is part of creating a safe space. By acknowledging that there may be various feelings and needs at play, even if it is in my head and also possibly fiction, I am already creating a space of possibility and intention. The possibility that more is at play, and the intention of seeing you (the student or other in the moment) are more than what I see or assume. I’m curious to know what you think about this perspective. Does it connect to what you meant in any way?

      And thank you so much for this dialogue! As I mentioned above, I’m working on an article on this, and last week I was trying to figure out how the concept of safety could fit. Now I have a much better approach to it! Another plus point for blogging once a week and responding to comments! :)

      1. “By acknowledging that there may be various feelings and needs at play, even if it is in my head and also possibly fiction, I am already creating a space of possibility and intention. The possibility that more is at play, and the intention of seeing you (the student or other in the moment) are more than what I see or assume.”
        Yes – Sometimes I suspect things about the home life or past of a student because their outward behaviour is reminding me of other students who turned out to be abused in some way or other. I do not want to falsely accuse anyone, because I am quite possibly wrong, but I keep a close eye on things and mention them to our learning support team so they can be documented and we can build a picture that can be used to help these students. I also make allowances for the behaviour of certain students and try to accomodate their needs when planning learning activities.
        As well, some students’ behaviour can be ‘out of character’. When asked, their excuses can often be ‘non-excuses’ because they are sensitive about the truth and they don’t want you to get ‘too close to the bone’. These students also need a more sensitive approach. This is where building relationships of trust between students and teachers is so important. As their teacher you might be the only one they feel they can open up to.
        Love the way you think and make me think. Thanks, Josette.

        1. Thanks for responding so quickly Anne! Your response really helped me dig deeper and see this perspective with more detail.

          “I do not want to falsely accuse anyone, because I am quite possibly wrong, but I keep a close eye on things and mention them to our learning support team so they can be documented and we can build a picture that can be used to help these students. I also make allowances for the behaviour of certain students and try to accomodate their needs when planning learning activities.”

          This is it isn’t it? It helps us navigate some very unclear territory. It isn’t the perfect compass, but it is a tool we can learn to put in our back pocket when we need it.

          Thank you for making me think!

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