translated by Google

Machine-translated page for increased accessibility for English questioners.

A reflective diary helps young teachers improve their teaching

Martin Ukrop

In addition to self-reflection instructions, the notebook also contains a list of skills that a good teacher should develop, and students completing the Teaching Lab compare their levels before and after the course.

Author: Martin Vérteši for

Beginning teachers at the Faculty of Informatics at MU exchange experiences in the Teaching Lab and have developed a teacher's diary, which is also used outside the faculty.

Informatics students can experience something that their classmates at other faculties of Masaryk University and perhaps elsewhere in Central Europe will not just meet. Exercises are often led there by their slightly older classmates, often undergraduate or graduate students. Overall, there are so many FI students involved in teaching that they have created their own community among themselves, within which they share experiences.

Martin Ukrop is one of the people at its head and is also one of the authors of a reflective teacher's diary to help beginning students improve their pedagogical skills. In addition, it is relatively universal, so it finds application across the university.

"It simply came to our notice then Teaching Lab , which we organize for all students who are starting to teach and want to talk about it with other university students. Every semester we have about twenty to thirty people in it. However, we came to the conclusion that it would be ideal to think about the quality of teaching right after it ends and not wait a few days for a meeting of the Teaching Lab, "describes the specific situation at the Faculty of Informatics, MU, doctoral student Ukrop.

Together with several other colleagues, he created a brochure, on the pages of which each young teacher will find a guide to their pedagogical beginnings. The diary encourages its owner to regularly write notes about the preparation for the lesson, its course and, above all, critical self-reflection, on which it is possible to base future improvements.

Separately and regularly

"The whole initiative is not based on telling students anything from the position of those who know best. Rather, it is a discussion and sharing of knowledge between people who teach. We try to help everyone identify things that don't work for them and figure out how to improve them. The teacher's diary has become a great tool for this, "explains Ukrop, adding that the diary allows everyone to think about their teaching independently and regularly.

Computer scientists have been using reflective diaries for four semesters, but not always in the form of a booklet with a yellow matt laminated cover and a neat typesetting. At the beginning, it was a kind of pilot version, which students printed for themselves at the faculty, only after the first year, thanks to cooperation with the MU Language Education Center, the load of several hundred workbooks, which have undergone linguistic and graphic editing, saw the light of day.

In addition, this spring, Martin Ukrop and other doctoral students lectured on their experience with reflective dailies at the world's largest conference focused on teaching computer science in the United States, and thanks to that, there is also an English version. Diaries are spread not only among beginning teachers at Masaryk University, but they can also be used as a valuable promotional item at the university.

In addition to doctoral students, bachelors and masters

In addition to self-reflection instructions, the notebook also contains a list of skills that a good teacher should develop, and students completing the Teaching Lab compare their level before and after the course. Free pages with guiding questions, in turn, offer remarks that are important for the retrospective evaluation of teaching.

"At the end, it also contains a list of key concepts and tools that we work with during the semester, so it somewhat replaces the notes from the lessons," adds the doctoral student, adding that for those interested, the diary is available online on the web. .

At the Faculty of Informatics, MU, he has many subjects of practice, which are often led by bachelor's or master's students. Of the total number of people who provide teaching at the faculty, students make up about a third, although student teaching makes up a much smaller fraction.

"We think that teaching a student who has a genuine interest in it is better than teaching a doctoral student who is forced to do so."

Most students, whether the teacher is looking for them to conduct an exercise or is interested in it themselves, start by doing homework, preparing teaching materials, or teaching in tandem with someone more experienced. Only later will he work his way up to lead the seminar group independently.

"We think that teaching a student who has a real interest in it is better than teaching a doctoral student who is forced to do so. If we add the fact that there is no automatic pedagogical extension with the start of the doctorate, there is no reason not to admit younger students to the class, "thinks Ukrop.

He has other things planned with the community of enthusiasts around the Teaching Lab, above all he would like to see it that it is natural for teaching students and, after all, the academics themselves to go out for a beer once in a while and discuss how they are doing.

Gallery of graduates