My Reflections on Reflective Teaching

In Filipino, “to reflect” means “pagninilay.” We usually define “pagninilay” as deep thinking and analysis of what is happening in our lives or what our situation is. How many times have we reflected on our lives especially during the Lenten season or on our birthdays? How many times have we been advised to reflect on our lives after we have committed a mistake? Deep thinking was also my first thought when asked about what reflection means in Module 1. I thought about reflection as the image we see when we look into the mirror. We look into the mirror to see our reflection and find out if there is something wrong with our appearance. To relate it to our personal lives, we reflect and see which direction our life is going through.

After studying the reading materials in the Module, I realized that I was lacking knowledge about reflection. There is more to reflection than deep thinking. What is it? ACTION. Reflecting will not mean a thing if we do not act, if we do not do anything about what we have reflected on. We reflect about our lives. We analyze what is wrong. But does it end there? No. The next step is to do something about it. What should you do to improve? What should you do to make it better? What should you do next?

When it comes to teaching practices, I realized the importance of reflective teaching. Teachers reflect while teaching. At the moment they are teaching, they observe the students and the class. Teachers ask themselves if what they are doing at the moment effective. Then the teachers adjust the teaching style or strategy based on the reaction of the students. At the end of the day, teachers have to reflect further on what happened in the classes the whole day. Was the lesson relevant? Was the teacher effective in teaching? Was the implementation of the lesson interesting? Teachers reflect and make plans to improve for the next day. Reflective teaching becomes a cycle. Teachers reflect actively to improve every day. Because teachers do it every day, reflective teaching comes naturally to effective teachers.

An Introduction

About me

It has been one of my dreams to be a teacher. I want to educate the young minds of pre-school students or elementary school students. In the future, I also want to run my own pre-school learning center. The thought of little children having fun while learning in my school thrills me. That’s the reason why I decided to continue my dream despite the roadblocks that I encountered in the past. It is the reason why I enrolled in the PTC program of UPOU in 2014.

I am currently an online English teacher for Koreans and Japanese students. This has been my job since 2008. I have been working homebased since 2010 because I want to take care of my daughter. I enjoy teaching English and I feel fulfilled when my students show improvement in speaking English. I believe teaching is more than just a job for me. It is my passion.

What is effective teaching?

For me, effective teaching happens when the students go beyond understanding the lessons. The students should be able to relate the knowledge, skills and attitudes that they learn in class to their lives. Effective learning also challenges the students to seek more knowledge. Lastly, effective teaching also empowers the students to make a change in their life and in the lives of others. These statements are based on my belief that intelligence does not mean anything if they will not be put to good use. I believe that teaching becomes effective when it brings about change in the students.

What is an effective teacher?

I believe an effective teacher should possess these important characteristics and skills:

  • An effective teacher should be a good communicator. He/she should be able to communicate well with students of different ages, backgrounds and levels. Reaching out to the students is important to spread knowledge and understanding.
  • An effective teacher is a positive thinker, resourceful and resilient. Teaching is not an easy job. A teacher will encounter many challenges but the way an effective teacher faces these challenges make a big difference to effective teaching.
  • An effective teacher should have determination and passion for teaching. It is not just a job but a calling. Teachers influence the minds of young people, thus teachers influence the future as well.
  • An effective teacher is a motivator. A teacher motivates the students to use their knowledge, skills and attitude to make a change or make a difference in their lives, in other people’s live and in the world.

What are the roles of teachers?

Teachers have different roles in schools. As we often hear, they are our second parents. They act as the parents of students when they are at school. Teachers take care of the students. The teachers make sure that they are studying and learning their lessons. Teachers also act as counselors. They guide and help the students who have emotional or personal problems. Teachers comfort them and make sure to eliminate distractions in learning. Lastly, teachers and educators are big influences to the minds of young people.

My reflections

I have been teaching online for quite some time now. As an online teacher, I think that online learning is an innovative way of learning. Online learning provides opportunities for students to learn from teachers living in another country. Online learning bridges the gap between learners and teachers who live in different parts of the world. As a student of UPOU, I strongly believe that online learning is a good opportunity for people from all walks of lives and from different countries to continue studying and learning. With the help of technology, we can continue striving for knowledge even when we are just at home or at work. It is a gateway to further improving ourselves despite our current situation or condition in life. As a student of UPOU, it is my role to be a learner with discipline, to be a responsible group member and to be a determined and a passionate warrior of knowledge.

The Study Skills Inventory, Self-Regulation Questionnaire and the Time Management Skills Test helped me realize a lot of things about myself. I found out that I am good in note-taking and in memory. I totally agree with the results because I have been a note-taker since I was in elementary. Up until now, I like writing. I also learned that I need to work more on my time management skills. I admit, with all of the roles and chores that I have, I need to manage my time in a better way. I need to improve on how to prioritize and arrange my schedule so that I will have enough time to work, study, take care of my daughter and of myself. Lastly, I realized based on the questionnaires that I like working alone and I like routines. These results are true. I am a homebody and I enjoy being alone. I don’t like being surrounded by many people. But even if I am a loner, I know that I can work in a team or in a group if needed.

 My pledge of commitment

For this course, EDS 111, I pledge the following:

  • To do my very best to meet the deadline and to work within the schedule of the course
  • To read and understand the modules and reading materials
  • To submit quality requirements on time
  • To participate in group discussions and in group works
  • To not give up when things become too overwhelming

So help me God.