Why Journaling is good for you

  • Benefits of Journaling
    Journaling benefits for the writer can be manyfold. They are generally connected to the process of journal writing (Reis 1994) and the product (Thomas 1995, p. 5; Holly 1989a, p. 71). Following, we will look at these benefits in more detail as well as journaling as a therapeutic tool.
  • A journal is a documented record. Thus, it can be revisited many times after its completion & re-interpreted in hindsight.
    Thoughts, ideas, reflections, stages in personal as well as professional development are forever preserved in it. Such documented events, reflections or observations can then be revisited and reinterpreted in hindsight. Often, this enables the journal-writer to discover aspects she might not have been aware of at the time of writing. Upon rereading, it might be easier for her to distinguish between events that seem to have had importance at the time of writing but have lost their significance and emotional impact over time (see also Altrichter, Posch & Somekh 2005, p. 21). Thus, a journal allows for personal as well as professional growth.
    Beattie (1995) suggests that “biography, autobiography, and narrative have all been used to study the question of how particular people are the way they came to be in the way they are” (p. 61). Thus, for the purpose of this presentation, we can conclude that a teacher journal can enable the teacher to closer examine how she has become the teacher she is today.
  • Journaling allows the teacher to trace back experiences which may have led to anxiety, anger and frustration.
    Through writing and, thus, creating a record of her experiences, the teacher has the opportunity to separate herself and emotionally break away from stressful experiences and look at them from a distance. The teacher journal, then becomes an important aspect of gaining new perspectives because it allows the teacher to trace back experiences which may have led to anxiety, anger and frustration.
  • The Journal is witness to progress and achievement.
    A teacher journal can also be viewed as a witness to progress and achievement, and therefore give the teacher a sense of accomplishment, drive motivation and further self-esteem (see also Blaxter, Hughes and Tight, 1996, p. 49). 
  • The journal becomes a reminder of the past ideas, thoughts and events and a record of plans and achievements which may have guided subsequent action. It allows the teacher to recall and reproduce the thinking behind key decisions in her work. In our experience, a journal can help a teacher deepen her understanding of her work and spark further insights as well as more ideas. 
  • Cited References

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