Reflective Practice

A teacher should

“take responsibility for sustaining and improving the quality of their professional practice by: reflecting on and critically evaluating their professional practice”

(The Teaching Council, Code of Professional Conduct)


Reflective journal – Week 1 – Block 3 

After returning to teaching this week, I found the daily reflections on classes extremely useful to highlight areas that I needed to improve in my teaching. Reflecting has helped me to identify what strategies had been successful to create effective learning experiences.

What I realize from this week is that when students have challenging work to do it almost guarantees the class will run smoothly. I also feel it is important to use to visual aids and artists work to support learning through different stages of the creative process. These also continue to inspire me as an artist and teacher.

First year – Textile scheme

In the previous two blocks I had struggled to manage the first year class, as they were so energetic especially for the last classes of Friday. I knew that I had to go into the classroom with a strong presence on the first day. Now as my confidence as a teacher has grown, I feel I have a stronger presence in the classroom. Today I felt like I was the teacher, I was in charge. I realize that I must keep this class busy, to try to channel their energy well over the next weeks in a positive manner to create interesting textile work.


Second year – Portrait painting scheme

At the beginning of class I introduced the students to the sticks and encouraged them to use the sticks to paint. As I moved around the classroom at the beginning I realised that some students were experimenting with the sticks and cardboard but many students had started painting with small brushes again, I addressed the class and students individually, trying to re-enforce using the sticks/cardboard/large brushes to paint.

I could see that some students were embracing the abstract/expressive portraiture but also that many were struggling to move away from painting in a realistic style. I discussed the paintings with students individually asking them how they felt about painting in a looser manner. One student replied saying “it is hard because I don’t not know how to paint without drawing first”. After hearing this I realized as a teacher it is so important encourage and teach a variety of painting skills. I saw students were brave to engage with an unfamiliar process and that they would need much support and encouragement to continue painting expressively.


Fifth year – Stop-motion animation inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

We discussed some more work by Goldsworthy in this class; it was hard to motivate discussion today. So when students did not respond the questions I asked I directed the question at an individual. During the discussion I made sure that everyone attempted to answer a question. The work that seemed to inspire the students the most was the Elder Leaf Patch. One student asked “how did he get the perfect circle of red leaves, did he paint them? In response to this I researched some information on this work, looking at how the artist created it, tearing the leaves to form a circle. For future discussions I think it would be useful to look at ho w the artist describes his work, this would give the students a greater idea of how to construct a sculpture.