In any challenging profession, honest self-reflection is vital. •To ensure 'best practice' is being used. •To make sure current legislations and procedures are followed. • To highlight areas of improvement. • To boost morale when things are going well. • To see what training may be necessary. •To see if equipment and layout are working. • As part of 'self-evaluation'. A 'reflective practitioner’ is someone who steps back from a situation, identifies problems and draws up plans to address them.
Reflective Practice is important because of the nature of a Teaching Assistants’ job. We work in a field that is not scientific or predictable, every day brings something new. We work with individuals and can never have a 'one size fits all' solution. We need to be able to adapt and amend our practice to act appropriately in every complex issue that arises. To do this we usually use a blend of theory, practice, hindsight and if we've 'been there before’, or are old enough to have seen a lot, experience!
The result is then evaluated and conclusions acted upon if necessary. Something as simple as bringing a certain child’s coat into the classroom two minutes before the bell goes so that s/he can be putting it on independently without causing a lot of upset to others can speed the flow of children, book-bags and parents out of the school doors and on their way at the end of the day. By reflecting on ones practice and how one works with others one can gain confidence and become a more effective practitioner.