Not every class is the same nor their specific needs. One of the things that has helped me face the challenges and learn from them was reflection. Reflecting on teaching ideas from; reflecting on previous activities and reflecting on my students´ interests. Now, what does this reflection lead to and what does it trigger?
In most cases, I find myself involved in doing research and building up my classroom community. Here is the important role of reflection in my research: One year, I had students who really liked role playing. They acted our stories from a book or created their own. It was the first time in my career that I had seen Kindergarteners in a bilingual setting with such strong interest in drama. Based on this observation and reflection, I researched how this talent could help me shape the language-integrated activities for these children. Together with our co-teacher, we developed a plan to make the activities as varied as possible; we observed their performance and reflected again on what they had done. This year, my new group of Kindergarteners shows a vivid interest in art; every morning, they are actively engaged in art activities without us telling them what to do. I again reflected on their interest and did research; we developed a plan to make learning happen. Then we closely observed their interactions and the reflection on what they were doing and learning was carried out together with the children.
This is an ongoing process of reflection and action. What does research trigger? Research, in its simplest form can make a huge impact on students´ learning and on teachers´ teaching practices. It starts with a reflection, a reflection to understand what is happening in the classroom and collaboratively meet objectives. We do not know what characteristics the next group will have, but I know that if I do research on their preferences and reflect on them, I can contribute to a good learning experience.