Talking Teaching
Implementing Reflective Practice in Groups

Dublin Core


Talking Teaching
Implementing Reflective Practice in Groups


Sitting in her Reflective Practice Group, the beginning teacher, with tears streaming down her face, told her story.
I really looked forward to my first teaching job. I worked hard to get my teaching license and I was excited to begin, but it’s so hard. I have to go to several buildings. I eat lunch in my car on the way between buildings. There’s no time in the day to write up the reports I’m required by law to file on my special needs kids. I don’t feel connected to any building be- cause I rarely have time to talk to any of the other teachers. When I get home at night, it’s more work to stay caught up. I don’t get to exercise anymore. I used to jog every day. My husband is mad because we never get to talk together; he says he doesn’t know who I am anymore. I’m tired all of the time and I feel like I’m coming apart at the seams.


Think back to your first days as a teacher. What kind of support did you receive from your district? If you have taught for fewer than ten years, you may have been assigned a building mentor or you were required to attend “skills sessions” that focused on developing specific strategies. If you have taught for more than ten years, you probably had an expe- rience similar to ours.
First, we remember the thrill of being hired during a time when jobs were tight. Next, we remember the excitement of going to our class- rooms for the first time, looking at the student work areas, and exam- ining the bulletin boards and shelves of materials. Then came the panic—“I’m the teacher! I don’t know how to teach! I don’t know what to teach!” But, like all the other new teachers in our districts, we strug- gled through the first year afraid to let on to our colleagues that we needed help. Although we made it, not everyone did. We can all cite ex- amples of teachers who left the profession during their first years. Alone and overwhelmed, some simply could not deal with the constant barrage of challenges that life in the classroom represents. No wonder so many new teachers did not persist long enough to become tenured.
Thirty years later, the atmosphere for new teachers is not much bet- ter. Faced with increasingly complex teaching challenges, new teachers are easily overwhelmed by the pressures and pulls of life in the class- room. Without frequent, nonevaluative support, the probability of suc- cess is greatly diminished. With this in mind, we developed a Reflec- tive Practice Group (RPG) process to use with teachers.


Linda Schaak Distad Joan Cady Brownstein




Linda Schaak Distad Joan Cady Brownstein, “Talking Teaching Implementing Reflective Practice in Groups,” Portal Ebook UNTAG SURABAYA, accessed July 21, 2024,