What is a Reflective account
What is a Reflective account?
A reflective account is an essay in which the writer scrutinizes his or her experiences. The writer will note down about those experiences in a diary or in a journal. These writing show how he or she has developed and changed or added values to their lives from those experiences. These personal reflections may include with the item or incident, thought, feeling, emotion, or different situation from their own life.
Gibbs’ model of reflection (1988)
Professor Graham Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (1988) commonly known as “Learning by Doing’. This reflective cycle will particularly useful for helping learners from situations that they experience on regular basis and situations are not smoothly running well.
Figure 1.1 Gibbs Reflective cycle
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Gibbs’ reflective cycle has 6 stages. They are:
6. Action Plan
In this section we will explain what happened and more information about the background of the situation such as where I was working at the time, places, people who around etc…
In this section we will be able to express our feelings and thoughts about the incident. How I have faced and feel at the time? Afterwards feelings about the situation. Here we can discuss our emotions sincerely.
In evaluating the incident we can closely looking at how well things went. How we have reacted to the situation and to the rest of the other people? What was good and what was bad about the experience?
In analysis incident or event will break down in to the smaller parts which we can explore closely and separately. We will be asking more detailed questions such as what went well, how good is that or what went wrong and why goes wrong and reconsider about the contribution to the experience and say how useful it was and why it was useful.
In this stage we need to ask from ourselves what I could have done differently reconsidering the experience and answer the following questions which is applicable to the incident.
What could I have done differently?
What stopped me from doing this?
What did I learn from this experience (positive and/or negative?)
Did this experience gave me some valuable learning to achieve my goals or helped me to meet my competencies?
? Action plan
During this stage need to think forward and into encountering the event again and to plan what you would I do if this event happens again and how I would act differently or would I be likely to do the same?
Conflict between staff
This incident was happened after few months of my promotion as an Early Years Coordinator. The resources which school has ordered for the Early Year section for the new academic year has arrived from the supplier on the last day of the week which was Thursday (according to middle east working week) at around 10.15am in the morning.
The number of boxes of resources and various other packed items were unloaded by the delivery person in the main hall in the Kindergarten building where children are entering to the building to go to their own classrooms. The unloaded packs were stack in the area which causes the health and safety issues.
The staff who supposed to help out to transfer the boxes in to the recourses room was engaged in arranging the auditorium for the parents- meeting for that evening. Hence they could not be able to assisting on shifting recourses. I was aware that the teachers and assisting teaching staff should not lift the recourses packs and boxes. My concern was shifting the resources to the room before all the students return to the building after finishing KG weekly assembly.
Same time I was noticed that few team members have just finished their break and having chat and laughing loud on the corridor area which was not acceptable according to the school rules. I was having intention to clear the area by removing boxes so I had little difficult to cover my inner feelings, went and interrupt them and said quite loudly.
“There are loads of boxes and packs cluttering up on the hall. Children are coming after the assembly. Come and help me to move them NOW.” They were not happy to be helpful and came up with different excuses. I have to receive the kids after the assembly, I have to complete the poster which is not yet done, I have back pain. I was crossed and said “this need to be done before students back from the assembly and I cannot do it all alone, so no any excuses” (my voice was clear and loud and it was commanding)
Everyone came to help but they were not seems to be happy. I was able to remove most of the boxes and clear the area to make safe for the students and it took nearly considerable time.
Following week Sunday I got a message from my Head department saying that I need to meet her on Monday morning for an Investigation as few staff members have complained against me regarding Thursday incident.
On Monday I went to see her and explained what was happened and why I need to rush and get their help to remove the things as she (Head Department) was out of the school to attend the meeting in the Ministry of Education.
My priority was making the environment safe for the kids as well as others. And she was aware that the cleaning staff was busy with another work and somehow I have to manage. Moreover I told her I did not get the help from the person who has complained about the back pain as she was under treatment and I was fully understood her medical situation.
Finally Head department call for a staff meeting and explain the situation that was happened and why it needs to be getting done in such a way. She urged everyone the necessity of having safe environment and continue to be a part of a team. She appreciates my work and advice the staff to be alert. However after this incident those staff members were following quite rude attitude and it runs for couple of months which I felt so upset.
I felt so miserable at the time when I saw all the recourses were piled up and cluttering in the hall. I got so upset and was thinking how to shift all these packs within such a short time span as there was staff shortage. Having many disturb thoughts in my mind I walked in to the building I saw the team members were chatting. I got angry about their behavior and I frustrated by their reply. Their easy going attitude makes me more anger and causes me to raise my voice.
I felt afterwards that I supposed to be quite soft and need make a little bit friendly request rather than having loud voice to them. Same time I realized that I should not panic and need to have more control on my inner feelings and facial expressions. I also realised later that it was perfectly natural to feel anxious, when it was totally my responsibility to be an in charge of the section in absent of my superior.
At the beginning, I did not feel that the situation will be able to sort out and find the solution for it at all. I walked in to the building for looking for someone who I can get the help. When I saw the team members were chatting after their break it forced me to ask help from them. Deliberately I went to them while thinking to ask the help but their loud sound and laugh makes me so angry it causes me to command them instead of requesting.
Anyhow my first attempt was not successful as they came up with different excuses to avoid the work. However my second command/order work well and all of them were rush to clear the area.
I was fully aware that I had to be little bit soft in this situation rather than showing my frustrating feelings through words.
At the end I was able to get the work done completely and able to successful of making the environment safe for everyone as it was my first and foremost priority. The incident and circumstance makes few of them feel unhappy as I was forced to them to work.
Being a leader, it was my duty to get the things done as per the requirement same time I should be little more careful of the person’s feelings and emotions as well in order to maintain good relationship with the team members.
The situation was cleared and done by forceful attempt of mine and left some gloomy memories that leaving behind the conflict between the staff members.
In this situation instead of loudly asked the team to do the work I should approach them “I’m so sorry to interrupt you. I know that you are all had your break, I need some help to move these packs to the other room. I’ll not ask this if the cleaning staff is not busy in arranging the auditorium for the parent –teacher meeting.” If I was act bit more calm in the situation this would not lead to that extent and team members could help me out willingly.
Dealing with situations like this immediately is preferable, as Cooper (2011) points out. I spoke to my head department later and clear the situation which helped others to know what has happened on that day and why it was rush to clean up urgently on the same time.
Daynes and Farris (2013) say that, by not dealing with situations immediately and personally, and instead taking it to an authority figure, the situation can be made worse.
My expression and anxiety was made me to take the actions so fast which made the situation worse as per the team member’s point of view. As a team leader my responsibility was to make safe environment first. Hence I had to make my decision tough to make them all work. However, as we only spoke about the incident two days after in the meeting with the superior, she rightly concludes and explained to the rest of the team. Only thing was I supposed to open up my feelings to the team when we had the meeting which I failed to do. If I could have done it and apologise during the meeting, the rude attitude of others will be easily disappear.
When review the situation what has happened, I think I could do several things differently.
• What could I have done differently?
I should look someone who could help me out for the task such as one of the security officers who was at the gate and was not rush with any gate duties. Same time I could inform to the deputy principal (secondary) to find out the availability of any male teachers who was having their break.
• What stopped me from doing this?
Anyhow the situation makes me panic as I had little time, first I should take a long breath and control my inner feelings. My fear and rush stopped me controlling my inner feelings which cause me to speak loud to the team members to get the work done.
• What did I learn from this experience (positive and/or negative?)
From this experience I learnt how to control some of my inner feelings. Moreover I learnt to step out from the situation/environment for couple of minutes and find some other solution out of box rather than keep finding the answer inside itself. Overall I got positive and valuable life experience.
• Did this experience gave me some valuable learning to achieve my goals or helped me to meet my competencies?
The situation gave me some valuable learning which I could get help to develop my professional life. I think the main thing I learnt from the incident is that how to voiced to the staff members in a rush or panic situation.
In future, I will make sure to build up more of a relationship with team where I can get support without their hesitation. I am working together with staff members (workshop) related to the importance of leadership and team building where all my team members can identify and understand the strength of team work and responsibility towards the leader in a team.
This would be benefited for me and all the team players to overcome unpleasant situation. Even though I have done the workshop related to the above topic, I cannot expect them to understand completely how I feel as a team leader when different hard circumstance arises in future.
Moreover I need to speak to my fellow colleagues more often about their work and how they feel, as I think I will be able to learn their nature and how to approach them.
In future any situation arises similar to this or bit unlike I’ll definitely handle it in different manner as I have learnt extremely good experience from this. I need to gain more confidence with controlling my inner feelings and hope this is the time to start.