Reflecting on Care, Trust, Respect and Integrity in Daily OT Work

I would have to admit that I reflect on what I do every day as I drive home. I have about 45 minutes of driving after work and this gives me time to decompress. I work in multiple schools in various classrooms, so sometimes it is overwhelming to be reflecting on so much stimuli.

I always catch myself thinking, “is what I did today the best I could have done?”

The OCT outlines ethical standards of Care, Trust, Respect and Integrity. As a daily OT, I am constantly reflecting on if I have upheld these standards in my professional practice.

I think about if I have kept good care of the mental and physical safety of the students. Did I protect the vulnerable from people once I became aware if an oppressive dynamic? Did I provide them with some strategies for future self-advocacy? Did I explain to the oppressors why what they are doing is oppressive, and get them to reflect on their behavior? Did I keep them safe in on the property by promoting safe movement and making them aware of hazards ? Did I fill out the proper paperwork and consult the appropriate staff in the event of an unsafe action or potentially unsafe situation?

I look back and wonder if I have developed trust with students and colleagues. Did I communicate honestly with them? Did I explain my intentions? Did I treat people fairly and equitably? As I begin to get to know the people I work with more, I find that trust deepens. However, I must keep in mind that some people take a long time to trust others. I have to be patient.

Respect and boundaries are always being tested. I ask myself if I am too indulgent or  too dictatorial. What style of classroom management is respectful for the particular group I am with? I know that being strict may be seen as ridiculous for some groups, yet expected with others. Constantly trying to adapt to norms of different schools while maintaining a personal level of self-respect is difficult.

When people know that you care, that they can trust you and that mutual respect has been developed, they can expect you to deliver on commitments. This is where a sense of integrity is important. I constantly challenge myself to maintain my commitments to students and other staff, to communicate about things that don’t get done or mistakes that are made, etc. Standing up for students and other staff, acting as an ally and offering a helping hand when the going gets tough are things I like to do to maintain a sense of personal integrity.

How do you reflect on your daily practice? Please feel free to comment.



Social Media Math: Mistakes and Misconceptions

I really enjoyed how the teacher in this version of “My Favorite No” explained the importance of making mistakes.

For senior math students, I would definitely try one of these exercises where students complete a problem on index cards, submit their responses to the teacher, and listen to an incorrect answer to see where misconceptions are born.

Afterward, I would direct them to a page like this on social media. There are math problems posted on a regular basis with a myriad of responses.

There are quite a few misconceptions apparent in the responses. Here is how I would use these misconceptions to facilitate student learning:

1. Students will work in partners, and would choose a meme with its respective set of comments.

2. They will find out what their answer is, and see how many people agreed with them.

3. Then, they will find a divergent or incorrect “answer” to focus on.

4. They will discuss their answer as well as the divergent and incorrect answers with the class, pointing out where they think the misconceptions lie.

Seeing where people make mistakes in an online forum takes the pressure off of the students to be perfect, thus easing the anxiety they face.




Five Traits of Successful Learners

I will not claim to have absolute expertise in the brain and how it learns as I am not a neuroscientist.

However, from what I have observed in my experiences as a teacher and a student, it takes a specific mindset to become successful at something.

I believe that if one is

  1. of sound mind
  2. displays interest
  3. possesses a positive attitude
  4. has access to resources
  5. has time and a place to practice learning

 

they can be successful at what they choose.  In specific regard to mathematics, these traits would give one a primed “math brain”.

Even people with intellectual and processing difficulties have shown to me that they can do math. They may require more scaffolding, cues and resources, but they can still learn math to varying degrees.

Unfortunately, a lack of any of the above traits listed may present a huge roadblock for learners.