Writing a reflective journal for the duration of this course has given me new perspectives on my work and myself. “Reflective practice is a “sorting out/clarifying process.” (Moon 2004) Wondering about a particular problem or situation has become less haphazard and more to do with discussion and asking for feedback from students. I am also trying to use methods that enhance transformative learning like disorientating, and failure (Taylor 1998) by encouraging the students to experiment with a variety of ways around the same subject.
Asking for feedback from colleagues has always been my practice, but now I know that this helps me consolidate my own learning. Peer observation is the hardest of all the tasks we have been asked to perform, especially if one practices with colleagues that one is working with all the time. I hope I will continue to use this method of learning once the PG Cert year is completed. I have also learned that giving feedback to colleagues can be extremely difficult, especially if it includes constructive criticism. This is one of my weaknesses that I would like to spend more time addressing in the future.
My continuing professional development future is uncertain. I would very much like to find ceramic technician colleagues who would be willing to discuss teaching and learning issues after the course has finished. I already found out that the ceramic technician at Chelsea also did this course last year; now we just need support from our superiors for our discussions to happen during work time.
Recently I attended a three day screen printing course and met with the ceramic technician there who informed me that there are five of us in the whole university!! This is news to me, as I wondered how to find out who we all are. Maybe there should be more of this formalised networking by human resources, or encouragement to fill in staff details in the directory, as until recently I was the only person designated to ceramics in the university staff directory when I knew this not to be the case. I have already started to email with fellow ceramic technicians.