If you are a music education major or practicing music educator, you have probably had to write a few reflections on your teaching by now. Depending on the situation, it was either required of you, or you wrote it of your own volition. As an educator, I approve of both scenarios. 🙂
Reflection is one of the best tools for growth as an educator, but it was also a large part of my choir curriculum. I wanted my students to value the reflection process so that whatever field they end up in, they will be equipped with a way to always be improving their skill sets or craft.
I have written about the ways educators can benefit from blogging, but today I want to focus on the benefits of reflection and how a blog may be the way to facilitate that process. Reflection reveals 4 aspects of your teaching:
- What is working
- What is not working
- Your future goals
- Where you started
Reflection helps you think through all of those aspects by forcing you to remember both prior years, lessons, concerts, etc., and where you want to be next, whether that be in repertoire selection, festival or competition goals, or new ways to run your program. You really can’t reflect without thinking about what has been and what is next.
Maybe a pen and paper style of reflection is good enough for you, and that’s totally acceptable and wonderful! However, I really believe in blogging as a reflection tool because it can foster communication and feedback. Public reflection can lead to conversations that can fill the gaps between where you were and where you want to be.
There is never a bad time to start reflecting, so why not give blogging a try now too! Here’s some ways to get started:
- You can use the free WordPress.com blog, where you’ll have a web address like “yourcoolname.wordpress.com” and you’ll have a few customizable theme designs to choose from and it’s great. It is definitely a great first step. You can get your own custom domain name (yourcoolname.com) for about $15-ish. It’s the perfect platform for simple reflection blogging.
- You can go self hosted with WordPress.org. Basically, this means that your website is hosted on a private server and you can do a lot more. (Technically, that was not the correct definition, but my words are geared more toward the less-web-tech-inclined folk). This is maybe for those who wish to use their blog to also host their other projects, or serve as an online portfolio (which I also recommend!). I use BlueHost to host my website, because that’s what Michael Hyatt uses, and he knows everything about blogging. In all seriousness though, BlueHost has incredible technical support, both via live chat and over the phone. For someone who knows nothing about building a website, this is critical for me. They guide me through troubleshooting, or sometimes they just go ahead and fix it for me! (If you have more questions about starting your own blog-based website, feel free to contact me! I’d love to help!)
Once you start your blog, write a reflection post! Write about your year, your last concert, a particular lesson, anything really! Then, share the link on my Facebook page so we can read it!
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/scjn/
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