So, last time I wrote about reflective practice and told you about one of my favourite strategies, reflective lenses, to get the most out of this process but what do you do when you’ve done all of this reflection?
The best kind of reflective practice leads to some development of your practice, of those around you and of the setting in which you work. In order for reflection to lead to these changes you need an action plan (and then to take action).
Once, you’ve reflected through lenses (even if you didn’t get to all 4) and you’ve noted some things you’d like to change, stop doing, do more of or try out. Make sure you create a list of these. If it helps, order the list.
You can do this in a number of ways: priority order i.e. how urgently that change needs to happen, impact order i.e. which things will have the biggest impact (on you, the children, your colleagues, the parents), or quick wins followed by longer term goals. What actions can you take immediately that will have an impact and what needs more time for planning, funding and collaboration?
Once you have that list, you need to create your action list, you should consider using SMART as basis for this. Have you come across this before? Likely you have but I’ll give you a quick reminder anyway.
S – is your action specific?
M – can I measure when I’ve met my action?
A – is it possible for me to achieve this?
R – is it a realistic action?
T – have I set a time frame for this action?
Here’s an imagined example: I noticed that I always take a ‘step back’ and let colleagues lead the singing sessions with groups of children. I know it’s down to my lack of confidence and notice my colleagues are happy to lead it so I don’t have to.
I want to take a lead with the group singing sessions and build my confidence.
My action could be written like this – I will lead a group singing session by the end of April 2018
Now, this won’t happen immediately and you will want to build up to this with support from your colleagues. You need to tell them you want to do this, you need to ask for their help and you need to break it down into baby steps.
During the next singing session – lead one song – an old favourite such as ‘Roly, Poly’ and then ask for feedback from one person who was part of the singing.
Next, time, maybe lead 2 or 3 songs….after that, try out a less familiar one, before you know it, you’ll confidently be leading singing and helping a less confident colleague to try it!
So, reflect, plan, do and then, reflect again.