Teacher and studentsReflection is an important activity for learners. How often do you think about what you have experienced, what you have learned?

As lifelong learners, library media professionals should continuously reflect on our professional skills and approaches. It helps us to make sense of what has occurred.

What is reflection? It is a process by which learners think critically about their experiences. It can occur through writing, speaking, listening, and reading about the experiences. Learning happens in a mix of theory and practice, thought and action, observation and interaction.

Start with a few basic questions to guide this review


These reflective questions assist in identifying and understanding new information, help us fit this to what we already know, and lead to using our new learning in new and different situations.

The stages of a deeper approach to learning involving the reflective / review process were identified (Moon, Jennifer, 1999, Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice. London; Kogan, p6):

Reflection is the key to getting meaning from an experience. It allows students to learn from themselves. It is not a "one time" activity. Instead, reflection is an ongoing, meta-cognitive activity focusing on your evolving perspectives.

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Check Your Understanding

Keep a professional journal reflecting on your professional skills. Consider each of the following areas:

eye means readRead Heath, Marilyn (Oct 2002). Electronic Portfolios for Reflective Self-Assessment (Access requires login). Teacher Librarian; 30(1), 19+. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Author defines an electronic portfolio and presents steps for creating your own.

Also read Valenza, Joyce K. (Oct 2007). You Know You're a 21st-Century Teacher-Librarian If . . . (Access requires login). Teacher Librarian; 35(1), 18-20. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

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Make It Real

It's never too early to become active in professional organizations. You can begin by participating in one of the following activities:

You are near competing this course. If you have not already done so, began to think of yourself as a school library media specialist. You are one. Now what are the next step(s)?

Reflect on your professional practice:

Develop a professional plan.

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Read More About It

Electronic Portfolios: Students, Teachers, and Life Long Learners at eduScapes Teacher Tap

Exploring Reflection and Learning at The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education

Reflective Practice from Wikipedia

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