Reflecting On Practice

I have been asked to keep a journal for one of the modules in my MA course. I am now trying to force myself into the habit, though I am never good at doing anything when I am forced. However, this is only required for a short while, with the final coursework due in early September, and I thought I can keep trying it for a month.

I am expected to write about my Professional Practice and immediately the confusion starts. This is for an Education course and for the purpose of the course, I should possibly focus on the part of my role as an educator. Indeed, I teach Marketing Strategy to Post-graduate students one afternoon a week, and this is going to go up to one and half day a week starting September. However, this is only a small part of what I do. Teaching is my adventures in the chalk-face, an element in my exploration of models that I intend to employ, some day, in the Online College that I want to set up. So are other things - the administrative functions that I carry out as the Head of Education in our college, the constant evangelism that I have to do protecting certain values which I think are central to education, as well as the strategic stuff, exploration of opportunities, understanding government policies, that I have to keep doing for the college - form an integral part of my practice.

How am I doing as a teacher? I think I am alright as a presenter and a speaker: I have a salesman for far too long, and also have a wide range of interests. So, holding people's attention and engaging them for a period of come naturally. However, there are a number of things that I could do better. First of all, I suppose, I can be better prepared. Because I am not teaching often, I prepare materials class by class. I would love to sit down beginning of the term and write the whole course, rather than doing this piecemeal. I have a feeling that while each of my classes will be enjoyable and illuminating to people I am teaching, they may struggle to thread all of it together. It does not help that I see a group once in two weeks: This adds to the disjointedness. This is indeed the first thing I wish to address when I get a new group to teach in September.

Second, I suppose I need to give more feedback to the students than I do now. I am making them work on presentations, and give feedback in the class, but again, the activity ends in the class itself. I have a clear opportunity, particularly with Moodle, to create a conversation that continues beyond the class, which has not happened yet.

I think the key problem here is that teaching is not the focus of my role: It is something I do on the side. But it should not be so, I shall rather not teach if I can't correct these problems because that does not do justice to what I could possibly do. The students are currently happy and indeed they tell me that they want to see me more often, but that's exactly the point. I am sure I like the power and the privilege my position as the Head of Education offers me, but this also subverts my priorities. My priority is to learn the education process first hand - that's one thing I wanted to learn from this job and the MA course I am doing concurrently - and for this, I must be ready to give up the excitement of doing other things.

This is my first note and the frame of reference: I am hoping to take a backseat in the college and not be engrossed in any other thing at least till the end of October, when the intensive course I am planning to run is over.

So, that's another little experiment with myself and my life and I am beginning to enjoy this already.


Sailaja said…
Interesting read. Good to see people with conscience making a difference to the education system.

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