Being reflective

The first month of school has flown by, and the year is off to a good start.  I am loving my classes.  It’s exciting this year because I am teaching some new courses (Statistics & Economics) and teaching a course online.

There has been some stress too – this is our first year with the new evaluation system for teachers, and it is definitely overwhelming.  I am sure it will be easier once we are all used to it, but for now, it’s a huge change, there are so many forms, and there are so many questions.  I guess every new process has its hiccups.

While the beginning of the school year has been a lot of work, I always want to make time to learn more about things I am interested in outside of school.  Recently, my husband and I have been taking a class that our town’s police department offers, the Citizens Police Academy.  It has been very interesting, learning more about our town.

Last night was the taser demonstration.  I couldn’t believe how loud the “bang” was!  But even more surprising was the fact that the two guys who volunteered to get “tased” were fine five minutes later – who knew the effects could wear off so quickly!

The officers who put on this class are really great, and they have all kinds of stories.  What most interested me, as a teacher, was that more than one officer talked about reflecting on incidents they were involved in and thinking about ways they could have handled the situation better.

I can see how being reflective is important for them in their jobs.  Although police officers have a much harder job than I do, our jobs have that in common.  I generally think this is a strength for me, that I often think about how I taught a particular lesson or handled a certain situation, and I think about what I did well and what I could have done better.

It’s probably true of many jobs, and true in life, that if we all could reflect on our actions more often, we would become better at what we do.  Reflecting on our actions is something we probably could all stand to do more often.