Reflective Practice for Persons Interacting with Children: regardless of where you live in the world, reflection can benefit you. With today’s challenges of interacting with children—getting them to listen to what you have to say and following direction—it is vital that we have the necessary skills to reach them. This podcast episode looks at how reflective practice can assist you as a parent or teacher in communicating effectively; listening and giving effective feedback.
Children can benefit from the collaborated efforts of parents and school teachers. When parents are not part of the decision making process of education in the classroom, they can feel isolated. It is also critical that feedback on the student’s positive performance be shared with parents and not just negative ones.
This episode of the podcast looks at some practical ways to bridge the gap between parents and teachers.
Parent involvement in a child’s life is so important. For the child to become a positive person and truly educated in life (as it relates to how to behave or conduct themselves), they need to be made aware. The same is true when looking at how parenting affects the child in the school system. So the encouragement is to continue to be a positive parent to your child and give them the opportunity to truly live.
When an Educational Assistant gets injured, odds are it was witnessed by multiple students. What are students seeing and experiencing in today’s classroom? Beyond the violence, what else is affecting students in the classroom? Here is what EAs want all parents to know:
Unbeknownst to the public, Educational Assistants (EAs) suffer the greatest number of lost time injuries (LTIs) out of the top ten occupations were injuries are sustained. An LTI is a workplace injury that results in a loss of time from the workplace. As you can imagine that means the injury has to be significant enough so as to take the worker out of the workplace. The length of time out of the workplace can be as little as a day up to including those persons who would qualify for long term disability. In other words, these are not simple bruises or scrapes.
In addition to LTIs, Educations…
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I am just like any other mom of two children, constantly nagging my children to pick up stuff, to keep their rooms clean, to eat healthy, to stop squabbling, and the hundred other things that moms need to keep repeating – with limited success. And all these constitute the everyday mundanities in every mom’s repertoire.
But then, when I am not playing referee to a sibling fight or yelling to be heard, I do have those moments of clarity. Moments where I see my children in the future as responsible adults, facing life’s challenges. And it is in these moments that I make these ‘simple mental notes’ that I would like to share with my children. The list keeps growing, but here are a few of my favourites.
#1 – Try
My first note would just have this one word. Keep trying, the results are not in your hands, but…
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Sometime ago I was speaking to a group of students at a self development program. The objective was to bring inspiration to them, and so, motivation to achieve whatever they positively set their minds to.
I remembered preparing for the presentation and an interesting question came to my mind. I asked myself, what is the driving force behind achievement?
I took the word GOAL, and create a mnemonic to help them with this.
On a piece of paper I placed the word GOAL (one letter per line on the page) and then started thinking about it deeply. What is it in this word GOAL that can make us achieve, focus, and make us successful in the pursuit of our dreams?
As the creative process in my mind went to work, my hands started writing on the sheet of paper.
I then looked at the letter G. The letter G, stood for get up and get the work done, become actively engaged, get the information necessary to complete this task. It is by means of initiation, a push or pull action that work gets done. Remaining stationary is self-defeating when seeking to bring a dream to reality.
The other letter O, reminded me of being organized. Many times persons may have a vision, know exactly where they need to be or what they need to be doing.
Probably it is an overwhelming action or habit in your life that you want to change or a quality you want to develop. There is a level of organization that must take place.
Person’s dreams, goals or their purpose may not yet be realized, though they know where they want to be in life, but because of failure at seriously organizing themselves, work may not get done.
There are a few electronic programs you can use to get organized. The ones I generally use are: Evernote, Google drive and Google calendar. From time to time I still use a pencil and paper to record an agenda for the day. If you are unfamiliar with the programs or apps (Evernote, Google drive and Google calendar) you can do some research online on them. YouTube has a great deal of information on all of these. Learn how to use them to organize your day, week, and even months. They have great reminders and can sync well with your smart phone and other electronic devices (tablets and laptop computers).
Reflective practice activities
In thinking of our goals and how organization is critical, think about what you need to do.
- Is it that you need to get up earlier to study for a course you are enrolled in?
- Is it that you need to prepare your meals for that diet you have embarked on and will need to get your food containers and meals prepared before leaving the house; not leaving it to chance, believing that you will past by a health food store on your way to work?
- Or is it that you need to pack your school bag or meeting case the night before, so that the materials needed for that class or meeting is ready to be a part of your success the following day?
It is important you ask yourself these questions, as organization is essential for success. The answers you will obtained from these questions may be viewed as simple and something that people already know, yet reflect on your situation for a moment and you may observe something you do not know.
Reflective practice activities
Questions to ask yourself
- If I already have these answers how effective is my organizational skills, given I know what I want to achieve?
- Am I using these skills to the full, as a habit, or am I just using them occasionally when I feel stressed or remember to do so?
To be organized, you want to have access to a personal daily planner book (this book should have the feel and comfort that is inviting to you, as well as the pen you use) for recording your plans for that day—actually, using it each day of the week, and yes even on Saturdays and Sundays.
Most persons have these planners but seldom use them correctly or use them at all.
My encouragement to you is to start recording your plans for today and future days, today. See what you have to do and feel the joys of ticking or crossing them out as they get done.
We live in the technological age. Do you have a cell phone? A number of persons today on the planet will say yes to this question.
Interestingly today, cell phones are not only use to communicate with other people, be it verbal or text. With the use of Windows, Android apps and many other user platforms, games, eBooks, movies, Skype, emails or just surfing the World Wide Web has been made possible.
On a number of these devices, storage capacity is quite enormous. As such, if you already have in your possession, one of these cell phones or tablet devices, use the digital planning programs they come with (or download one, most of them are free) for creating agendas or plans for the day or for the week. This may take a few minutes but the outcome will be great.
NOTE: When you plan a productive day, the feeling of accomplishment and the knowledge that whatever we are working towards is getting done, is indeed fulfilling.
A friend of mine asked me once, after a meeting we had.
“How is it that you get so much done and not be stressed?”
I remember looking at my friend with a gentle smile then a slight chuckle, “Well, from time to time I do get stressed”.
“Yes really, but I am never stressed over what I need to do next or where I need to go. I just check my calendar of events for that day on my smart phone and off I’m gone.”
“I need to be more like you,” was my friends reply.
I must admit though that at the beginning of my career, this was not something I was accustom doing.
There was this particular week, I remembered having a series of meetings to attend and presentations to prepare for and students course materials I had to mark, trying to remember client’s information. Not remembering to check the email my boss called and asked me to read and give feedback on. That was a big problem for me. This was a challenging week, this was my disorganized week! So yes, you can say I learnt the hard way but that should not be your experience. So create the habit of being organized by including tools in your environment to assist, and see yourself moving one step closer to accomplishing what you set your mind too.
So to conclude on this point of organization using electronic devices. Remember to take note of what you need to get done on your Smartphone/ tablet and sync the information onto all your other electronic devices. So any one you log onto, the information is there.
Do not be afraid that you may lose your phone or someone will steal it, your information is sync on all of your devices. If you are still concerned, put a pass word on your phone, tablet or computer, and so if you lose your phone, someone else can not steal your plan for the day!
NOTE: Remember that failure to plan is self defeating. Be organized and achieve your dreams.