Tonight I started a 6wk beginners Tai Chi course at Nan Tien Temple. I’m going with a dear friend. I TOTALLY enjoyed it! We are learning the Yang Method, as in Yang family. I don’t know anymore about the form – and I am too tired to research & add more links or videos! – but I’m sure I’ll revisit this topic as I learn more Tai Chi. During the class I felt relaxed and calm, and also focused and energised. Just what I needed
Reflective practice is the process of reviewing one’s actions and output with a view to learning from the experience, and improving. It is a learned habit; a very valuable skill. Of course, we all have much to learn from our successes and failures. Successful reflective practitioners evaluate their work-life, and/or the ‘other’ aspects of their life, with deliberate methodology and regularity. However, people evaluate in many different ways. How an actor evaluates their audition may well be very different to how a salesperson evaluates their recent conference presentation. The motivation though, is identical. We all want to learn from our past to improve our future.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
: George Santayana.
Film star Helen Twelvetrees, ca. 1936-7 / photograph by Sam Hood. Uploaded to Flickr by State Library of New South Wales collection.
Now, I say all of this as a non-reflective practitioner. As someone who does not evaluate my learning and experiences in any deliberate or methodical way.
Or do I?
Prior to writing this post for Thing 5 of CPD23, I have never really thought about whether I practice reflective practice.
I am fortunate to have a fortnightly supervision appointment with my supervisor at work. This is a valuable time to talk about my current projects and day-to-day tasks, and analyse how recent events, meetings, and projects concluded. We exchange ideas about what he, and his superiors, would like me to be focusing on, and I talk about my future aspirations too.
As I write this I realise: this is reflective practice. The time I spend preparing for these sessions – about 10 minutes on average – and the sessions themselves, are modes of individual and partnered reflective practice. Supervision is very important to me – it grounds me, and focuses me. Of course I understand ‘stuff comes up’ sometimes, but I really miss these sessions if we have to postpone or cancel.
Recently I have allocated an hour per week to professional development in my work calendar. It is not much I know, but it’s an hour more than I used to do. In this time I work on the CPD23 course, read library, and tech, articles and papers, and so on. (I certainly spend much longer at home focusing on professional development.)
Now I have decided I will schedule another hour per week for reflective practice in my work calender.
Do you practice reflective practice?
Any tips for how you spend this time?
Or indeed, how you make time to do it?
The title of this post is a shout-out to my blogging buddy ‘Chelle. I’ll be your mirror is my fave Velvet Underground (and Nico) song. ‘Chelle also loves great music. When she chronicled her recent adventures on her great indygogal blog, every post was a song title. A top idea, which I borrowed here. Imitation, flattery and all that. Do yourself a favour and follow her latest writings on indygo words.
In this post last year, I gushed about RSS and Twitter as being THE ways to keep up-to-date. My opinion has not changed. However, as part of CPD23, I am playing with Storify to see if there are more ways to stay up-to-date.
For the uninitiated, here’s an explanation from the guided tour page: “Storify lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative… Drag and drop status updates, photos or videos to bring together the social media elements that will best illustrate your story… A Storify story is more than just a collection of elements from social media. It’s also your opportunity to make sense of what you’ve pulled together. You can write a headline, introduction and insert text anywhere inside your story. You can add headers, hyperlinks and styled text. Build a narrative and give context to your readers.”
In this – my first Storify – I chronicle a taste of My Brightest Diamond’s recent visit to Australia.
There’s a cool library Storify of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library ‘being born’ here. Of course Storify is also great for collating, storing and sharing tweets from an event, or any tweet chat. Check out @ellenforsyth‘s compilation of @love2read2012‘s twitter chat about #dream reading over here.
After my first experiment with Storify, I find it to be a fun, clever tool for curating social media and other online snapshots of happenings. It is great for people who prefer visual stories rather than those laden with text. Storify is not just another way to tell a story with social media, like live-tweeting or documenting via Instagram. Rather, it is an evolved social media tool. The act of creating the story is artistic, like scrap-booking – piecing bits from here and there; tweets, video and links to articles, and so on. Storify is especially successful – and original (to my knowledge) – as it creates a narrative, not just a list of links.
So yes, I do think reading people’s Storify stories is a great way of keeping up-to-date. Of course, as with any knowledge pursuit, be aware of authorship/curatorship validity and factual recency. My heart, however, still belongs to RSS and twitter, but I imagine I will use Storify a little now too.
With content creation and digital curation of community happenings being a major player in future/currently switched-on libraries, I can see a place for creating and archiving Storify stories in libraries.
Do you know any great examples to share? Does your library use Storify? And non-Libraryland folk: do you, or your workplace use Storify?
My blog tagline reads “Libraries & Learning. (Occasional other loves.)” As yet I have not posted anything under the category ‘other loves’. Until recently I had envisaged occasionally blogging about my other loves which included music, acting and the theatre, art, online performance and social media art happenings, photography, and chronicling personal challenges, growths and goals. Just to name the big ones, and omitting my most excellent wife J. Anyone who follows me on twitter may have seen the hashtag #GeeBee. GeeBee came from G. B. which stands for Green Bean. Green is our name and Bean was for growing baby.
Now I am overwhelmingly, enormously proud to declare my latest and greatest ‘other love’; our beautiful daughter, Belle Emma Green.
Belle arrived safely on her due date (!) 22.12.11 and her mother J. did an AMAZING job. I am extremely blessed, thankful and relieved that Belle and J. are safe and healthy. I don’t believe there are words to explain how truly awesome most excellent wife J. was during the labour and birth. Put it this way: she was fully dilated when we arrived at hospital – as in 10cm and ready to push! – and never once did she mention she may not be able to ‘do it’ or even that the pain was too much. Most excellent wife J. is an amazing woman, who – and I didn’t think this was possible – I love even more than I did before she triumphantly carried and gave birth to our dear Belle. I am forever in J.’s debt, and to the Universe, for blessing us with #GeeBee.
The day when a hashtag became a human was monumental; an unequivocal life-changer.
I’ve been contemplating learning to write book reviews. I read so many for work & for personal interest, but I’m still daunted by writing them. I would like to write reviews for our (future) teen’s & children’s blogs at MPOW. I also want to publish reader-submitted written or video reviews (of books, games, movies, cds) as a way to engage young people. The idea of tweet reviews – where readers review in 140 characters or less – is a winner too.
Plus, I have an ever-expanding “must read” list going.
As luck would have it, my dear other spouse twitter flicked me over to this blog post by Christina via @yaReads.
The idea is to read through your book bucket list over the year and write reviews as you go. So given my mantra for the year is “Just start,” I’ve decided to challenge myself. I’ve signed up for 8 titles and reviews for the year! My list will only contain YA titles because I am using the exercise to also develop my reader advisory skills (and because YA books rock!). I’m really excited for the challenge and for the skills I will (hopefully) develop.
I have lived with a completely fun and anonymous handle on twitter, wordpress, and elsewhere for a long time and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the anonymity. I loved playing with online art groups using a pseudonym. I was less daunted when asking questions of industry colleagues. And I experimented in finding my voice as a “professional librarian” (whatever they are meant to sound like!), a blogger, an actor, etc. However I have decided to “go live” with my real name in the hope that I can connect more significantly with people. I hope to learn more from others – and to learn about myself – by sharing more of myself. I also anticipate my “putting my name to my work” decision will motivate me to blog more frequently and honestly. My online anonymity gave me a certain type of confidence; I was less fearful of making mistakes. But in the few years I’ve been working in libraries, and while I have been exploring online learning, playing with new technologies, and re-kindling the actor within, I keep hearing & reading the same phrase: “it’s OK to make mistakes”.
My mantra for 2011 is “Just start” – so here I go.