On Twitter recently, a link to an article on keeping a teaching journal popped up, and I was instantly intrigued.
Keeping a work journal has been on my mind since I read about it while writing about my new gratitude journal habit, but I didn’t realize there was such a wealth of resources and articles on how specifically to reflect in a teaching journal. I’ve written before about how important it is to reflect on teaching, and my blogging has always been reflective, but I never want to risk my job or betray the privacy of any of my students or colleagues. Also, I like the idea of reflecting immediately after each class, even if it’s only a brief jotting down of quick impressions. When I was adjuncting and frequently teaching new classes, I used to write all my lesson plans in a notebook, and then reflect right after that class by writing a paragraph or so after I’d taught that plan. It was incredibly valuable in my growth as a new teacher, but somewhere along the way, I lost the habit.
I think I’ll try The Teacher’s Daybook, 2011-2012 Edition: Time to Teach, Time to Learn, Time to Live, because I admire Jim Burke so much and I know the earlier edition has been so popular. I still like the idea of keeping a work journal, but that would be something I did at home, to make sure I could feel free to write in it without censoring myself.
As much as I enjoy blogging under my own name and feel it has moved me in useful directions, there’s something to be said for writing without censoring myself, not thinking of a finished product like a poem or essay, not worrying about proofreading or whether I’m expressing myself clearly, but just writing to figure things out and get the thoughts and feelings down on paper and out of my own head. I kept diaries for much of my childhood and adolescence, lost the habit in college and graduate school, then started blogging after my girls were born. But writing freely, the way I used to, scribbling furiously until my hand was sore? It’s been years, and sometimes, I miss it. I think it would help me process more about my job, and maybe more about my life along the way.
- Writing a Learning Journal (700berlin.wordpress.com)