Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Teaching Diary

This summer, one of my #eduread books was Why Don't Students Like School by Daniel Willingham.

I really got a lot out of this book and it will definitely be on my "revisit" list as I loved the classroom implications for each chapter!

But the last chapter is the one that really got me personally.

The final chapter in the book is titled "What About My Mind?" and differs from the rest of the chapters in the book as it focuses on how we as teachers can grow professionally and continue to learn throughout our career.  Some of the suggestions are things I've heard of before, such as video-taping yourself or inviting observation, such as the Observe Me movement, but one suggestion really stuck with me - a Teaching Diary.

I'm a paper person in general - I love writing my lesson plans down, I brainstorm on paper, etc, but a Diary?  I have never (successfully) kept a diary in my life!  Heck, my childhood diary still has more than half of its pages empty and I wrote in it off and on from age 7 to ???.  What makes me think I can keep up with a Teaching Diary?

Well - maybe I can't, but I'm at least going to try :)

I purchased a super cute composition notebook, glued a table of contents and various calendars into it and am determined that it will go with me to (most) meetings as a place to record ideas, glue in handouts, etc.

But the biggest benefit - hopefully - will be the weekly recap pages. In the book, Willingham says...
"... don’t expect that you will really remember how well a lesson plan worked a year later. Whether a lesson goes brilliantly well or down in flames, we tend to think at the time that we will never forget what happened; but the ravages of memory can surprise us, so write it down."
So I decided to try it.  In my pretty mew notebook, I developed a weekly recap page where I can jot myself notes about how each day went, the pros / cons / changes for next year. 

I can't promise that I'll keep up with it, but baby steps, right? :)

Do you keep a teaching diary?  How do you have yours set up?

1 comment:

SMiller said...

I set up a tab in Planbook.com called "Reflection", and I *try* to write in it every other day (block schedule). The big benefit is that it automatically copies over when I copy my lesson plans over from the previous year.