RP mission statement…loading…

I don’t know if I am allowed to do it in this very first RP challenge I’ve willingly signed up for…But anyway.

 

I, along with all others, was encouraged to think about what my reflective practice mission statement might look like. I have thought about it and come to an (un)easy conclusion:

I can’t make a mission statement before I set out on the mission and go a few steps. This thinking, I anticipate and am quite ready for, may cause some eyebrow-raising and sneering. As it is indeed contradictory to basic principles of all known missions and successful planning. Yet, I have my reasons, obviously.

 

  •  Personal experience shows I’m strong-willed, strong and willing at the beginning of initiatives and then easily slide down to being uninterested and unmotivated. Of course, support and nudge mean a lot. So I have more hopes for this project than for others.
  •  I tend to take unhealthy pleasure from preparations for something (projects and missions). Thinking about them, imagining how they will be done, making long-term unrealistic plans, sharing the excitement with everybody around. I can be a daydreamer, which is not always helpful.
  •  I have this amazing notebook. I like to look at it very much. It came to me from South Korea and was doomed to be used as an RP journal. In these several months I’ve filled it with many words… but mostly not mine. That makes me feel sad and more determined to take up the upcoming challenges (coming as, hopefully, small bites that I will be able to chew). I hope I’ll have some words of my own to fill the pages with.

So, for now, my first RP challenge ends with a failure to formulate my mission statement. I’m not unhappy with it, rather I embrace my way of treating the whole mission. Also, it’s more hedonism))

*****

If you’ve read this and feel confused or annoyed because you think you’re missing some crucial parts of information, this is true. I’m sorry, the text from below should have been an introduction, in fact. It’s all upside down here today.

 

I’ve been reading other teachers’ blogs for a while (almost 3 years, by fits and starts). Reflective Practice (RP for short and forever in this space), as an idea to develop for a teacher after actually going through some mental process of analysis and further action based on it + some research, has long been luring me. Blogs of teachers who do RP have been most insightful to me recently (as well as their authors). I’ve found out there are whole RP meetings in certain parts of the world. And apparently, to my knowledge, there are no such meetings or groups in my country. I hope I’ll try to find a way to introduce this idea to those who could be interested in it here in Russia, while I’m still here (because I’m hopeful I won’t be here from some time on in the future). But as trying to find/make up a group of real-life Russian RP enthusiasts offline is naturally a process too long and painful, doing my own first steps in RP online seems a worthwhile chance (plus attractive in many other respects).

So my mission, one of many this year (which fact probably reduces its chances for consistency and success..), is doing these RP challenges John ObservingTheClass Pfordresher promises to supply me/us all with. The mission with no statement to speak of at the moment.

The invitation to team up for online RP fun is open for everyone, I gather. Join in. The more the merrier/ more reflective/ more analytical.

 

And yes, in line with all of the above…

Ann Loseva’s Space is currently emerging. =)

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24 thoughts on “RP mission statement…loading…

  1. haeundaelife says:

    Hi Ann,

    As always I enjoy your honesty. It’s refreshing to read.

    I am quite pleased to see your excitement, eagerness and… perhaps some mild trepidation? 🙂

    I set out this, and future challenges, precisely to instigate the kind of self reflection and personal insight that you have shown us here today.

    I also wanted to say, I see the mission statement as a kind of personal idea behind what RP means to us. That is to say, why does RP interest you? What strings does it pull to get your attention? How do you see it assisting you personally in your effort to develop as a teacher? Where do you hope it will take you?

    Thank you much for sharing and participating! I really am happy to get the online conversation going and you’ve made a great start in doing so. Here’s hoping more readers become commenters and join in the discussion with us!

    John

    • annloseva says:

      John,

      I will honestly say that at the moment I am curious about what will be happening next.)) also a bit worried about what I’ll be able to contribute from my part.. Let’s see where we’re going.

      I’m going to answer these questions that popped into your head (obviously leading me to at least some, vague kind of formulation of RPMS)):
      RP interests me because it seems to be about thinking, taking this thinking to deeper levels, digging for something that lies below the surface. It is essentially close to psychology (in my view) and it is about people in the first place. All of that is very much appealing to me, so even if RP is not about that for 99% of teachers, I’m here with this image (for no specific reasons)). Also RP interests me because of the people I see involved in it, this is also important.
      My current belief is that we teach in the way we are as personalities. By that I mean that my traits and style of thinking and decision-making is obviously different from yours or Anne’s. So if we take the same lesson plan and go to classrooms, our lessons will be very different, and there is SO much to this. So my questions I’d like to keep exploring are:
      (1) how do I handle my qualities in such a way that they help teach, not interfere?
      (2) how do I find balance for my classes re content, materials, students’ personalities and my ego?
      This seems to be a journey which might or just as likely might not take me somewhere/ anywhere far, where I’ll be more satisfied with my teaching AND with my choices.

      I think this is all I can produce now))) I feel the need for a fresh challenge, which will move me from general to specific.

      Enjoying this!

      • haeundaelife says:

        Ann,

        My motto, when starting an rp meeting, is that, everyone, regardless of teaching experience, personal background or…whatever, has valuable insight to add that everyone attending can take something away from.

        In this comment here, you have proven me correct once again!

        Reflection is scary. No ifs ands or buts about it! To be successful we need to create a safe place in which to share. There needs to be trust. But most of all (considering this is all on the fancy internets) we need to find bravery from within. Bravery to speak our mind and trust that our thoughts will be received with open minds.

        I think the two questions you have asked yourself are excellent platforms from which to jump off and begin your journey!

        John

        PS- This is EXACTLY the kind of comment-like RP meeting conversation I was hoping to instigate. Wonderfully exciting!

        PPS- and wonderful comments from AnnE as well. I am sure she’ll have something juicy for us to digest on this subject in the nearish future.

      • annloseva says:

        John,

        I sure agree that anyone willing to say something will have something to say, which might potentially have grains of value for others.)
        And I’m happy this comment thread makes you yet more enthusiastic about this online RP challenge/fun.)
        Looking forward to whatever happens.

        BTW, just as I’m trying to imagine the situation and place myself in an actual meeting…I’m not at all sure about my bravery OR the quality of ideas I’d be sharing. I mean first times. The fancy internets (which is a very nice phrase from you)), this blog of mine, make it a smoother time here.

      • Josette says:

        “RP interests me because it seems to be about thinking, taking this thinking to deeper levels, digging for something that lies below the surface. It is essentially close to psychology (in my view) and it is about people in the first place.” This really resonates with why RP attracts me. I don’t think I could have articulated it that so thank you. Talking and thinking about thinking is just so interesting. People and our minds are just fascinating to me. It seems to be the same for you. 🙂 Loving all this reflection!

      • annloseva says:

        Loving all this comment in my turn.:)

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I love the way you express yourself with your upsidedown blogging. I respect your mission statement that you will wait before writing a mission statement. It’s hard to know what you are jumping into.

    I also love that you have your notebook ready to fill with your thoughts. I know from regular reading of your blog that your thoughts, ideas and experiences are so valuable and I hope you continue to give them voice.

    I have been thinking myself how to jump into this challenge and I hope I can be as honest with myself as you are and as realistic with the upcoming challenges.

    • annloseva says:

      Thanks for all of that, Anne))

      Upsidedown blogging is definitely an interesting style of blogging, I liked it myself when I saw that it had happened to me.)
      John has pushed me to think more. See comment above, which is though, I insist, in no way a statement!
      Thanks for support. I often feel that I lack words to express the thoughts, ideas and experiences accurately, but I’ll deal with that as a teacher-learner.))

      I’m really looking forward to your voice on this! Start is hard (for me, always) and so is the progression…but it’s maybe helpful that we’re here together.
      Whatever feels right for you.

      • Josette says:

        Ann, I wonder where that notebook came from? 😉 What comes to mind here is that everything happens at the right time. Conditions have to be right. Something about hedonism right? 🙂 Like Anne, I am grateful for your honest expression about not creating a mission statement because I think that is another important element of reflection: being clear about what is actually happening during a moment. It’s not always easy, but in my experience, it’s often brought great insights.

      • annloseva says:

        Josette,

        That notebook is amazing, pink and Korean.:)
        And here is this moment of shared consciousness again – everything does happen at the right time, this is (and has long been) one of my few strong beliefs.
        Thanks for support. Maybe one more sincere confession from me: feeling at ease sharing my honest expressions took time. I used to read blogs of others and feel inferior in the depth of my thinking, in the absence of expertise, in the narrow angle of my perspective, in the lack of my vocabulary. I’m still not sure what exactly prompted my liberation from this inferiority complex. While the moment is not clear, the effects that seem to have followed are wow for me and for sure the people who created (and keep creating) these right conditions are the biggest part of the wow-effect.

  3. This is actually a reply to your previous reply to John and I wanted to share a story as well about my own (lack of) bravery. When I first started going to RP meetings, I mostly sat and watched. Painfully shy and not brave at all. I didn’t feel like I had anything to contribute and I thought I was wayyyyy out of my depth surrounded by amazing people. It took me a good long while before I started to participate and only then when I became comfortable with the group of people and the group was fairly small. I’m a bit better at it now, and like John says (and has always said) everyone has something to contribute. I think you will find you are very good at reflecting because you are capable of being very honest with yourself. That’s something I struggle with and a reason why reflecting in a group is important for me.

  4. annloseva says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Anne. I can easily see the same happening with me, though.
    Simply being honest is not too helpful as it’s stating the facts, but I’m not so comfortable with real action of change on the facts.

    • kevchanwow says:

      Sincerely,
      Kevin

      I’m not sure how RP actually starts. I have a feeling that you are already doing it Anna. Reading and writing a blog, accepting and valuing other teacher’s comments, starting up a dialogue like this. There’s all kinds of reflective practice, and maybe a good first step is to just recognise how much of it we already do.

      Hi all and sorry to be late to the party,

      • Josette says:

        I couldn’t agree more. Well said Kevin. If you are thinking and growing, you are reflecting.

      • annloseva says:

        This is an amazing upside down comment. I’m in love with it.))))) thanks Kevin.
        Also thanks for making it look for me like I’m doing RP. That is nice.

  5. […] have no idea what this is. However, I have been inspired by Mr. John Pfordresher and Ms. Ann Loseva to enter this conversation and so I will […]

  6. […] Ann Loseva stepped up with trepidation, inverted it and reflected upon herself. […]

  7. […] Pfodresher for putting the RP challenge out there. It has been inspiring to see all the responses (Ann Loseva, Anne Hendler, Hana Ticha, David Harbinson and Rose Bard), and it was just the reflective […]

  8. […] on my teaching.  And I want to thank all the other teachers who took part in this challenge (Ann Loseva, Anne Hendler, Hana Ticha, David Harbinson, Rose Bard, and Josette LeBlanc).  You have helped […]

  9. Zhenya says:

    Hi Ann

    The part I am taking with me from your great (one of many, but a very important at this point) is about organizing/finding a real find/make up a group of real-life RP enthusiasts offline. You wrote about Russia, and I guess I would start with my city some time this year, and then see if it has any future. It has been in my thoughts for some time and it is exciting to know that I am not alone 🙂

    Really enjoy reading what you share. Thank you.

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Zhenya,

      Please let me know how it goes for you, and what steps you’ll be taking! My problem is I have ideas which rarely become real life things. However, my step for now is to talk about RP in an open slot during the E-merging Forum here in Moscow in a month. That way mb I’ll see the level of interest/ probable involvement. And then will see from there what to do next. Also feel strange about it as it is sort of very hypocritical (I know nothing of real RP!).

      Thank you very much for the words and the comment. Very happy to be in touch 🙂

  10. […] Anna Loseva, whose mission statement is loading and who reminded me that accepting a challenge does not mean following the rules (especially in the area of reflection where the ‘rules’ themselves are hard to define or work out) […]

  11. […] Hendler, Hana Ticha, David Harbinson, Rose Bard, Ann Loseva, Mathew Noble, Kevin Stein, Roseli Serra, Kate (sorry not sure of your last […]

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