Today I want to talk about using one of my favorite apps for journaling and reflecting in teaching. The app is called DayOne.
A lot’s been said already about DayOne. Most notably was being named the best journaling app from The Sweet Setup and an older post by David Sparks on MacSparky. A additional writeup of how the app was made is from Lifehacker’s Behind the App series. In short summary it’s an app that is for Mac and iOS that is a journaling app. It syncs with iCloud and Dropbox and allows a beautiful journaling application for Apple devices. It has a menu bar icon that can be used to add quick entries or you can click on the actual app that can support full screen mode.
You might say now, how great sounds good. How in the world does this apply to teaching? I’m a large proponent of reflective teaching. What is meant by this is that I find tremendous value in having teaching being a constant cycle of improvement and improvement. One great way of doing so is through journaling. Journaling in itself shouldn’t be thought of as a chore and it also should feel like something natural that you want to do. It should be simple to use with whatever tools at your disposal easily available. In this case DayOne fits all that criteria.
Here are the essential questions that I brainstormed that are useful after a long day of teaching. Obviously these can be adjusted to be for using on a weekly basis too.
So some essential questions to ask when reflecting on your teaching
In one word describe the day of teaching
What was something good today that happened?
What was something that could use improvement?
What was something that didn’t go as expected today?
What important conversations with parents, students, or administrative occurred today?
If you gave yourself advice at the start of the day what would it have been?
What would you like to do better next time?
What’s something you are excited about upcoming whether in teaching or in your personal life?
By being able to reflect on one’s teaching it makes the idea of reflection that much easier using DayOne. Coming up in a upcoming post is the basic’s of TextExpander and how to utilize creating a shortcut for these essential questions to put into your DayOne journal.