Home > Librarianship, Reflective Practice > Thing 5 of 23

Thing 5 of 23

Our topic this week is reflective practice.  While working as a library director for a college of education, I observed our graduate students engaging in reflective practice, an ongoing part of each of their courses.  When I initially encountered it, I felt inner resistance.  My thinking was, “I don’t have time for this, and neither do these teachers who are working full-time and completing their master’s degrees.”  But the resistance is deeper than lack of time, because we can always find moments to use constructively–and reflectively.  It’s a resistance to going deeper, to cultivating a strong inner observer.  Writing during the day on the events/accomplishments of the day, especially as the completion of these accomplishments links to previous reflection, is important.  It hones attention, keeps it from scattering in an environment in which information and distraction play continual roles.

As I make reflective practice more important in my professional life, I know that it will help me in discerning what is important to me, in the methods I find to serve and to lead in my workplace.  The method I plan to use is this: at the end of each work day, before I leave the office, I habitually clean up my desk, wipe away coffee circles, and at least stack papers and files, if not putting them away.  Now, additionally, I’ve opened a file on my portable hard drive with Word documents for each month.  A ten-minute journal entry at the end of each day on what I’ve done, how it serves my larger goals, and a general observation on self and work will become part of my work day.

I’ve used this technique in my personal growth and plan to continue that–in which I write in long-hand in a leather-bound journal.  But I want to see how reflective practice can help me improve my professionalism and improve my engagement in my day-to-day work life.

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