Self-reflection or as we are being taught at university, the importance of reflecting on our upcoming professional experience is the requirement of graduate teachers to be able to 'critically reflect' on practice and on our own progress. AITSL instructs professionals in the business of education to continue the process of continual development through "self-reflection and self-assessment" (p. 3) by applying the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:
The Standards contribute to the professionalisation of teaching and raise the status of the profession. They could also be used as the basis for a professional accountability model, helping to ensure that teachers can demonstrate appropriate levels of professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement.
The structure in place enables teachers to accomplish growth over a period of time:
- Graduate - 3 years;
- Proficient - 5 years;
- Highly Accomplished - 2 to 5 years;
- Lead - 10 years: head of a department or similar.
This means, if around 10 years time, if all goes to plan, I could with a lot of luck, become a school principal. Now, let's compare this to the presidents of the United States of America:
The last two presidents were 78 and 70 years old at the start of their 4 years in a powerful position as leaders. What does this mean to my self-reflection, you ask?
I may be a graduate when I begin my quest as a high school teacher but I have 25 years of industry experience to support me in all aspects of my teaching, considering I started teaching at TAFE in 2004 and worked in tertiary education until 2016 at Martin College teaching graphic design.
Reflecting on my own professional experience will require me to look back into my past and evaluate what I have achieved and what I want to do with the vast amount of knowledge I have in graphic design and visual communication - this journal here is the start of my journey into what I have achieved, what it all means, and what I can do with it now.
Critical reflection is about carefully considering how events and experiences have led to personal growth and how I act or think differently as a result. I must make connections between what happened, what I have learnt from that experience and how I will apply this knowledge in the future.
In conversation with Dr Helen Lelei, my professor at Uni, she explained that this is where 'action research' comes into play and how I can actively learn to be a better teacher by analysing my own reflective journal.