Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why keep a journal

Farrell (2007) states that teaching journals are the more effective way to become a reflective teacher and the most natural way to do research. He lists the following benefits for keeping a journal:

  • Its a way to clarify one's own thinking
  • As a way to explore one's own beliefs and practices
  • As a way of becoming more aware of one's teaching styles
  • As a way of monitoring one's own practices
  • In order to provide postitive feedback on one's teaching, for example by writing about successful experiences
  • To vent one's frustrations and set goals for remedying problems
  • To raise a way of collaborating with other teachers in exploring teaching issues
  • As a way to collaborate with other teachers in exploring teaching issues
  • As a way of triggering insights about one's self as a teacher and about one's teaching
  • To provide a record of one's teaching for others to read
As a process of self-discovery, writing journals can give a voice to our teaching and they can help focus our energy. After reading this article, I've decided to change the way I am structruring my teaching journal. I've decided in order to keep my journal writing fresh, engaging, and practical, I'm going to restructure my journal entry in the following way:

1. I'll talk about an incident or thought that happened in my teaching to lead the journal.
2. I'll narrate or bullet the events of the day
3. I'll discuss what events have caught my attention and that I want to focus on.
4. I'll analyze what happened and what possible changes can be made and pose questions to my invisible audience or to myself for my next journal entry.

I reserve the right to modify my journals as I see fit so that they are relevant to my teaching, myself, and my students.

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