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Three Characteristics of a Truly Reflective Teacher

Violly Chyril S. Bugtong

“The heart is the best reflective thinker.” by Wendell Phillips

Teachers who are passionate about what they do, never get tired of teaching. Teaching is inspiring. It becomes a fulfilling career when the results are evident seeing these young minds learning which is manifested in their outputs and of how they become. Those extra miles of the teachers’ enduring hard work and dedication in teaching cannot be equated to any amount but joy and self-worth.

Teaching is not merely about transmitting information to the learners. Teachers need to deal with lots of things, such as paperwork, extracurricular activities, meeting deadlines, keeping good relations with co-teachers, parents or guardians, and the list is endless. When the passion of teachers starts to die down, teaching becomes a job. It is hard for teachers to work effectively and even more difficult to see their long-term goals. Thus, being a reflective teacher is vital to self-reflect and go back to the default of what truly are the “Roles of being a Teacher”

Reflective teachers assess their strengths and weaknesses in the teaching-learning process as well as their relationship with others in the organization they’re in. They give time to ponder not only after any unforeseen or surprising events that may happen, but, habitually. Here are the three characteristics of truly “Reflective Teachers”.

1. Teachers who are mindful. They have great sensitivity in their surroundings and make positive influences. They are thoughtful with their actions and speak with respect. When negativity surrounds in a conversation, they see opportunities of creating positive vibes, perspectives or solutions. Mindful teachers are thoughtful decision-makers. They’re careful with their actions and words, taking into account that they are role models in the eyes of everyone.

2. Teachers who are fair and just. Reflective teachers listen to both sides of the story. They don't make assumptions, neither take sides when students or co-teachers commit lapses. They weigh and judge certain things rationally. They allow students and their colleagues to grow and take the opportunity to show their talents and bring in their ideas rather than being self-centered or bias. Fair and just teachers are rather happy to share their expertise or talents for individual progress and especially for the common good.

3. Teachers who are open to improve. Teaching and Learning are lifelong engagement. As many people say, “We learn best by teaching”, thus, the more we teach on the same subject area, the more we become good at it. It allows teachers to modify, innovate, and reteach the lesson in an effective or the best possible approach or style. Moreover, teachers teach best by the lessons they learned by heart. Reflective teachers realize their mistakes and stand corrected positively making them team players.They are always excited to learn new things and are optimistic when it comes to personal and professional growth through continuous study and trainings. As the education evolves, so are they. Teachers catch up with the time, constantly innovating their teaching instructions and teaching styles that would suit best for the new generation of learners.

However challenging teaching could be, giving regular time to discern and be reflective help teachers unload some excess baggage and realize what truly matters. As what Hall & Simoral said, “The more reflective you are, the more effective you are.”