Mirror, Mirror – Professional Learning and Reflective Practice
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Professional Learning is anything which enhances your knowledge, develops your skills or changes your attitude. It helps to ensure that your practice makes use of the latest discoveries and techniques, ensuring that you – and your learners! – achieve your full potential. Your professional learning experiences are specific to your career, and help you become a better practitioner. When you think of professional learning, you might think of CPD, training or INSET, but there’s no need for it to be anything so formal; many informal experiences which you have every day will also affect your practice.
Evidence and Reflect
Your PLP is a powerful tool to help you structure your professional learning. Upload evidence of your experiences, then take the time to reflect. What went well? What didn’t work so well? Have you learned anything? What changes will you make going forward? If this is something you’ve never done before, you’ll find a range of simple templates in your PLP to guide you through the process.
It’s important to remember to reflect on negative experiences as well as positive ones – you might learn a lot from a situation where things didn’t go according to plan. Your PLP belongs to you as an individual, so your reflections won’t be seen by anyone else, unless you choose to share them.
Some Examples of Professional Learning
All sorts of things can be great professional learning opportunities. Some examples include:
- Work shadowing
- Collaborative working with colleagues
- Coaching or mentoring
- Action research
- Professional reading or research
- Online learning or blogs
- Learning about pedagogy
- Self-evaluation and reflection
- Relevant accredited courses
- Masters qualifications
- Peer observation
- A professional dialogue with colleagues, learners or even parents!
Being reflective can make you a better practitioner, provided that your reflection leads to an action. Maybe you need to change your practice, or perhaps you need to look at further training, whatever you need for your professional development. At the end of the day, it won’t just be you that benefits, but your learners too.
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