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Keeping A Reflective Dairy


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Hello

 

I am starting my 2nd year of my OU degree in september and part of the prepartion work is to start a work baised reflective dairy or journal. I am just wondering if anyone else has ever made anything like this? and also what kind of things you included and wrote about etc to help you in your studies?

 

Thank you

 

Emma x

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Hi Emma,

 

In my experience a reflective diary is fairly standard for any course of this nature. It gets you into the practice of really thinking about what you are doing on a day to day basis and properly considering how you might refine your practice.

 

Don't bother with all the mundane stuff - "Reported for duty, prepared snack, opened up room, filled water tray, greeted children etc..." stuff - although maybe a brief intro which describes your major duties as background will help set the scene.

What you need to be doing is recording conversations with parents/carers/colleagues/manager; contacts with advisors or other professionals; unusual occurrences; incidents of challenging behaviour and how you handles them; spontaneous opportunities - get my drift? Once these are recorded you should reflect on what has happened, considering how successful (or not) you feel your part was and how you might react differently in the future. This will help you to develop your practice. The idea is that by keeping a physical diary for a period this kind of thinking will become embedded in your practice so that you will be doing it automatically.

 

When things happen even now in my setting, I sometimes write it all down to think about over the weekend/whatever. It can be a very useful tool indeed! It can also help if you are taking on new duties, for example SENCO.

 

If you number pages it will help you if you need to use any of it as evidence at all in your course - for the same reason it is quite useful to keep your diary in a loose leaf format so it is easy to photocopy if necessary.

 

Hope this is helpful, and good luck with the course!

 

Sue

 

Oh, PS! Your first post! Welcome to the Forum, well done and congratulations :1b

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Aww thank you very much Sue :D I was quite confused about how to get started on here, but already read lots of posts which have been really interesting.

 

Thank you for that explantion, i will get started on it now I have a clearer idea.

 

Emma

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The thing about keeping a regular diary is that it can reveal a pattern of events and issues that didn't seem important at the time, all of which can point to an underlying problem experienced by a particular parent or member of staff, or an area of your setting's practice that needs to be addressed.

 

If you need to produce a series of reflective accounts to be marked as part of an assignment, your reflective diary will help you identify which issues you would want to develop for this aspect and will prevent you scrambling around for things to write about.

 

If only our FDEY students would get into the habit of regularly filling in a reflective diary, they'd find their Reflective Portfolio so much easier to complete! ;)

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Hi and welcome Emmalouise,

 

When I did my foundation degree I initially found completing a reflective diary difficult to get to grips with.

As SueR says, it's not about recording general day to day routines, but an opportunity to really analyze situations that arise during the day, to engage in deep level thinking about the why, what if, but and maybe, looking at many different sides and angles of an issue/problem, seeking to look and think 'outside the box' - an opportunity to write down your thought processes as you reflect on situations.

I felt that the more I practiced the process, the better my reflective entries became.

 

Good luck

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emmalouise are you going to be studying e105? I was wondering about the reflective diary also, think this module is going to be very challenging!

ali

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Thank you very much for all your replies they have been very helpful.

 

Ali- yes I am starting E105 in September looks very interesting but challenging too, I really enjoyed E100, so looking forward to getting started agiain :D

 

Thanks again Emma

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I've just passed E105 so wish you good luck. It is a hard course with lots of activities in the course materials (some very repetitive) and there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice and very vague assignment guidance.

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Ahh right, I found the E100 quite similar in that the activties and assingnments were a bit repetative, I found the tutorials very helpful so fingers crossed I have a good tutor this year ^_^

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I was going to say that the tutor I had (who covers most of Lancashire, Merseyside and Manchester from what she said) was fantastic.

I hope you get a good tutor too xx

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