Plenary or reflection: what is the need for?


To be a teacher is a very easy task but teaching is the most difficult process. Teachers cannot see the results of their work immediately unlike their colleagues – artists or constructors – who creates something and after some time vo a la the masterpiece is ready to be purchased or simply admired by the lovers. No panic! There is a solution for teachers to know what went well during the lesson and what should be improved next time. It`s plenary time! or five minutes activity at the end of each lesson for reflection. Why do teachers need it? What benefits students will gain completing this task? What are the functions of plenary tasks? Is it a new method or no? Here I will try to answer the following questions and explicate them for you.

Well, I would like to answer the first question first: Why teachers need reflection? Due to reflection or plenary, teachers can check if their endeavour was done not in vain. Moreover, teachers can see the flaws in their teaching methods, styles, analyse the activity for the appropriateness or relevance, or understand the learners` need and abilities better. Next time they will plan their lessons taking into consideration the students feedback and will be able to improve their teaching styles and up-to-date their teaching methods.

Next is what students will win from this? They will learn how to reflect on what they have learnt and assess the situation adequately so that to develop their own skills and habits. It will help them to see their own gaps and mistakes. In addition, it will motivate them to study hard in order not to fail the task or, even more, to get the excellent mark from the teacher next time.

As for the functions of the plenary, it is to help both teachers and students to see their own strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning process. From topic to topic the content of the plenary should be changed in order not to get bored and to know the accurate situation in the class. It will help them to assess their abilities, try something new, for instance, new teaching method, or a new way of conducting the lesson, etc.

My answer to the last question is here that some educators assume that getting feedback from the students is something new or modern method in education. I argue that this type of reflection existed even in the Soviet period and it is not a new way of concluding the lesson. During the Soviet time teachers simply asked questions orally and students answered them in the same way without writing anything. But now when everything is changed and the era of technology is boosting, it is impossible to imagine a class without smart boards or some electronic devices so teachers use them at its full length, depicting everything in images, charts, tables, etc.

To conclude, I would like to say that with the help of plenaries the voices of the students will be heard, and both the teachers and the students will work hard on their own development. Creative lessons create creative students and will encourage students to think critically, to find out extraordinary solutions and will help to form the future leaders in the walls of the school!

2 thoughts on “Plenary or reflection: what is the need for?

  1. Thanks for sharing your post about this effective reflection activity. Your discussion of the plenary task from two perspectives- teachers and students, is really meaningful; your straightforward structure is clearly seen from your questions and answers to that. In the beginning of your post, you questioned the need, benefits, and functions of the plenary task which appeals the readers (especially me ) at first glance. I like your wiring technique as questioning, you encouraged me to think over the issue with you unconsciously. Moreover, you wrote a good claim that the method indeed exists. I also agree that the method can be useful for teachers to employ in their teaching. In a word, it’s a great and thoughtful work, and thanks again for sharing your perception of this reflective method.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the benefits of reflection presented in the post. Sometimes I wish I could reflect more on my teaching, spend time after each lesson to think about what was successful and what should be improved. However, I have noticed that students are not always willing to reflect on their learning, they are more concerned about their grades and homework at the end of the lesson. Some teachers force students to right reflections almost every lesson which is not very helpful because it becomes repetitive and boring. Instead, teachers may tell students that they can reflect on their own without formally writing or telling that and only occasionally ask for formal reflection when it is really needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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