Rather than rewrite one of my previous blogs, I've decided to consider how I use reflective practice in my library and professional arena.
I must admit that most days are a whirlwind of activities and trying to keep on top of tasks whilst organising the next event, so there isn't a lot of time for reflection. I also think that being a solo librarian doesn't help; it's easier to reflect on something when you can discuss it with others.
But I can totally appreciate how reflection helps to inform the way you do things, to think about the benefits (both to you and the students), to consider better ways of working, to look more deeply at the task itself and the outcome. In school we use WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) with the students so I am already used to this type of thinking and it's only a short step to applying this to what I do.
I do try and be as reflective as possible, both for in-house and external activities. This means I am always revising my lessons, rearranging the library, doing things differently the next time - which can make life busy at times! Thus when I have a lesson to deliver on a familiar topic (that I may have given several times in the past), it's not a matter of simple printing it out or using the same presentation, I like to revisit it using any additional knowledge gained and past experiences to see if it can be improved. There is also an almost instantaneous reflection after the lesson, a quick discussion with the teacher to assess its success (or otherwise) and that will then inform any changes such as obtaining additional resources, using a different level of resources, revising their tasks, rearranging the lesson structure, etc.
One of the things that has made me more reflective is being a CILIP mentor. Mentees' portfolios need to be evaluative so I have had to think reflectively about my own performance as a librarian to guide them in their writing - I have used WWW and EBI with them to help in this. I have also just revalidated and, again, that has made me contemplate my own CPD, why I undertook it, what impact it has had, and whether it would input into any additional activities.
Another area where I have been using reflective practice is with joint ventures such as the Pupil Library Assistant Award. Last year was the inaugural award and, whilst it was extremely successful, the judging panel held an evaluative meeting after the event to reflect on how we could improve it and whether we needed to make any changes.
I'm hoping to register for Fellowship soon so this will help to ensure I continue to reflect on my professional activities.