Reflective Writing About Teaching: A Way to Engage and Grow

12:05 - 12:35pm
Presented at: Low Educated Second Language and Literacy Acquisition (LESLLA) for Adults 2012 Symposium

Reflecting on instructional practice is well accepted as a way for teachers to examine and improve their own and others’ practice and to continue to learn throughout their professional lives. Less known is the importance of writing to support such reflection and learning, particularly among teachers of LESLLA learners. Reflective writing is a sustainable, flexible means of professional learning, because it allows individuals to record and re-imagine their teaching, alone and in interaction with others, and it provides lasting texts for ongoing analysis, conversation, and further learning. It can also help to reduce the isolation that often accompanies instruction.

Reflective writing can take the forms of journaling independently, interactively, and online (on discussion boards and in study circles), which can introduce teachers to instructional theory, research, and practice; teacher portfolios, which allow teachers and those they work with to document changes in their writing, classroom practices, and projects; and writing of critical analyses of incidents or case studies, in which teachers focus on specific areas of thought and practice.

The presentation describes types of reflective writing that LESLLA teachers might engage in and research methodologies that can be used to examine growth in reflection, learning, and sense of community.