Welcome to Teach and Reflect!
Hello, my name is Wilma Luth. I’m an English language teacher and teacher-trainer who lived and taught in Japan for 21 years. Most of those years were spent in the beautiful city of Sapporo (the snowiest large city in the world!) where I worked at several universities. Although I love teaching English and miss it quite a lot, currently I’m taking a break from the classroom as I settle into life in small-town Ontario, Canada. I still vicariously experience the language classroom through my work as a freelance teacher trainer.
I’ve been thinking about writing a book on reflective practice for a number of years now. This blog is my attempt to share my ideas and thinking with other teachers and also to learn more about reflective practice. And I’m taking the “blog a book in a month” challenge to get the first draft done! (see the link in the sidebar).
Teachandreflect.com is based on several principles. Two of them are:
1. Sometimes the bravest thing a teacher can do is admit to herself that she doesn’t know everything.
I am not presenting myself as the expert in reflective practice. Reflectively thinking about my classes has benefited me a lot during my career and in this blog I’d like to share what I’ve discovered along the way as well as explore the questions and issues that arise. Maybe, eventually, I’ll become an expert in reflective practice. That’s one of my goals.
2. When there is a puzzle, problem, or challenge / mystery in the classroom, the answer to it is very often found in the classroom as well.
There is a tendency among teachers to try to solve difficult situations (aka problems or challenges) by bringing in new resources or activities.
Students aren’t motivated? Find a fun game to play!
Poor test scores? Make the curriculum easier!
(I know this because I’ve done this myself many times. And I’m not saying that it’s wrong to do this, I’m just not sure that it leads to lasting change.)
Very often the key to discovering why students aren’t motivated or why their test scores are low is to look at the classroom and see what’s actually happening there. It can be daunting and scary. But it’s the best way to deal with reality.