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A personal reflection on the career path of working with dogs

Printable page generated Wednesday, 26 Sep 2018, 00: When we look in the mirror we see our reflection. We might take time to reflect on something to consider it in more detail, in greater depth and in a new way.

Consciously or unconsciously reflection involves our thoughts, ideas, experience and knowledge, and the process of reflecting might be pleasurable or uncomfortable, or a mixture of both. Generally, reflection is a way of working on what we know already and it generates new knowledge.

For that reason it is also used in learning and work contexts, and in relation to personal development and career planning. The process of self-reflection is something we can undertake at any stage of life.

It can help us to examine our goals, our decision making, our motivations and our feelings around a whole range of experiences. The aim of this toolkit is to get you started on thinking about yourself, who you are, what you want to do in your present situation and how you can work towards doing what it is you want.

The toolkit contains a mixture of personal reflection, ideas about how we learn from reflection and activities for you to try out for yourself. A case study approach is used throughout to highlight a wide range of personal journeys and to explore the circumstances and issues that have affected real life choices. The toolkit consists of five sessions that include a range of activities to help you reflect on the following: Defining myself and how I feel about my present situation CrossRef Session 2: Learning by looking at my life over time CrossRef Session 3: Identifying my skills, abilities and qualities CrossRef Session 4: Clarifying my goals and planning for the future CrossRef Session 5: Identifying my next steps and where I can find information and support In each of the five sessions you will be invited to relate your own experiences to the ones illustrated and try out a personal reflection on the career path of working with dogs individual tasks.

Each section will take you about an hour to complete. You can choose how to complete the tasks, whether you use pen and paper, word processor or online tools.

What is important is the learning you gain from each task, not the tools you have available. If English is not your first language, there are resources within the toolkit to help you, including an online dictionarya glossary of technical or specialist words and phrases, and links to resources such as Am I ready to study in English?

Further resources are given in the list of useful websites at the end of the toolkit. My Reflection Log You can complete the activities in a couple of different ways: As you work through the reflection toolkit, you can simply click on the downloadable resources that we have provided.

Reflection toolkit

As you work through the toolkit you can use My Reflection Loga personal resource that collates in one document a record of your progress through the unit as you undertake the various activities and tasks.

You can add to it at any time with further notes and observations. Once you have completed the reflection toolkit, we hope that this Log will provide a useful reference source and basis for your planned next steps in life, study or career. My Reflection Log is designed to be downloaded and saved to your computer or memory stick.

It can be opened and added to as required — but don't forget to save it every time you use it.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can print out the Log and use it to write down your thoughts by hand. Whichever option you choose, you will find it helpful to make notes either in your Reflection Log or in a notebook as you work through the toolkit.

For example, you can work through these activities on your own or in a group with a facilitator, either online or face-to-face.

You can customise your profile in myLabSpace and explore the topics and learning tools that it has. Using the toolkit on SocialLearn You can also use this reflection toolkit on SocialLearn — learning together, anywhere on the web. Visit the SocialLearn website to find out more. A statement about confidentiality When people reflect together, in a group, this can make it easier to discuss things, and you can get ideas from each other. They must agree to do this and also not to discuss outwith the group, anything that group members say.

No member of the group ever needs to discuss anything that they do not want to talk about. Each one decides what they want to contribute. If you are working through this toolkit in a group, either online or face-to-face, take some time now to agree with your group the rules you will follow to respect each other and ensure confidentiality.

Now think a personal reflection on the career path of working with dogs how you feel about reflecting on your life.

Do you want to do this? Do you want to share your thoughts with other people? Are you happy to write down your thoughts? Make a note of what you want to get out of using this toolkit, or how you feel. We are hugely grateful to Open University students Alan, Carol, Eric, Fiona, Gary, Iain and Ying, whose stories have informed the development of this toolkit and bring to life the activities within it.

We hope you find something in their experiences that speaks to you as well. Defining myself and how I feel about my present situation Introduction What is reflection? Reflection is a process that involves thinking and understanding — an honest exploration and examination of our previous experiences.

In this toolkit it is thinking about things you have done and experienced in your life, and working out what you have learned from them, so that you can better understand the person you are now, your qualities, what you are capable of and what you want to do. This kind of thinking can be helpful for anyone, at any time of life, whoever you are and whatever situation you are in. The scope of your reflection can vary.

Reflection can be uncomfortable, depending on previous experiences, but it can also be liberating as we develop a better understanding of ourselves and our situation, and can then move on.

She is the first person from her family to have studied at university level. She spent a number of years in various clerical posts before and after her children were born.

  1. Identifying my skills, abilities and qualities CrossRef Session 4.
  2. Do you want to do this?
  3. Each one decides what they want to contribute.

Carol then began studying with the OU to gain qualifications and better career opportunities. Although this has not been easy, due to issues of health and cost, she has continued with her studies and hopes to graduate next year. Skip transcript Transcript My name is Carol. I have been married for 23 years.

  • My husband is a plasterer;
  • I saw the OU as a way to better opportunities and more choice in my career and as an interest just for me;
  • Each section will take you about an hour to complete;
  • The boost it gives to your self-esteem, confidence and self-worth is immeasurable.

I have three daughters, ages 22, 19 and 18, all still at home. My husband is a plasterer. I work four days a week for the NHS. I will have been in my present post three years in March.

  1. The cost was a bit difficult as well.
  2. What is important is the learning you gain from each task, not the tools you have available. My husband and I both worked but did not earn much and were just over the limit for any benefits, so there was never much money left over for anything else.
  3. She is the first person from her family to have studied at university level. You can add to it at any time with further notes and observations.
  4. Each one decides what they want to contribute.

I left school after sixth year to go to teacher training college but hated it and left at the end of the first year. I drifted into the first job I could get, which was a bank clerk, then over the years I worked in clerical posts which did not pay very well. I saw the OU as a way to better opportunities and more choice in my career and as an interest just for me.

I went from working in customer service in a bank to working in health and social care and then going on to social work, which I only left after my mother died and I became ill myself with depression. I have completed four courses with the OU but I have also started as many courses and not finished them.

The reasons for this are to do with my own health and home circumstances. I have suffered from depression on and off over a long number of years and sometimes a bad spell coincided with the middle of a course or just after the start of a course — once I had fallen behind it was too difficult to catch up, or it was very hard to regain my motivation and I would just give up.

I sometimes missed a year or two here and there. Studying with the OU can be difficult at times. I had to really make an effort to be disciplined — it is by no means easy to study after you have had a busy day at work or a long tiring day looking after young children. I also had to study over the summer holiday period or over Christmas, depending on the start date of the course.

Introduction

The cost was a bit difficult as well. My husband and I both worked but did not earn much and were just over the limit for any benefits, so there was never much money left over for anything else.

Passing an assignment or getting a good exam result is the best feeling ever. The boost it gives to your self-esteem, confidence and self-worth is immeasurable. You learn so much and the courses are really interesting.

I count passing my OU courses, along with passing my driving test, as my greatest accomplishments! I only need to finish one more course before I get my degree and I know I can do it. I will be very proud of myself as I am so aware of how far I have come, and I am sure I will be successful.

  • I drifted into the first job I could get, which was a bank clerk, then over the years I worked in clerical posts which did not pay very well;
  • The cost was a bit difficult as well.