Reflective practice allows us to connect the actions of our work, in this case interpreting, to our core beliefs and understandings. In order to do this, we have to take the time focus on our work. In 1938, John Dewey introduced the concept of reflective practice as just a point in time where a person will understand prior actions and plan future actions. One example of reflective practice in the field of interpreting is highlighted in an article written by Anna Witter-Merithew on Street Leverage called “Sign Language Interpreters: Breaking Down Silos Through Reflective Practice”. http://www.streetleverage.com/2012/03/sign-language-interpreters-reflective-practice/
In the article Anna Witter-Merithew writes, “Our value for one another and the work we do requires us to find creative solutions to this isolation.” One of the ways we can do this is by connecting to a deeper level of understanding in our work and what it means to our core self. Journaling is a great way to keep your thoughts together, seeing connections of decisions/actions, and then use that information to start to create documentation of the pattern of our personal and professional lives.
With reflective practice, we are able to bring from within a community of inquiry and practice. It is easy for interpreters to become wrapped up in a daily routine day in with no end in sight. Reflective practice helps interpreters avoid the trap of complacency by providing a means to tap in to your inner wisdom. This trap not only occurs in our work, but also can happen with our personal lives in our marriages, healthy living goals, children, etc. These are all the things that we know we need to do but we put off or just ignore until it’s too late. We are all juggling so much with the world going by in a blink of an eye. Before we know it we have gone months, sometimes even years without focusing on ways we can live better in all areas of our lives. Breaking the cycle and being actively engaged in your life helps to provide a means to communicate with our brains from the inside out. We put an end to the ongoing cycle of autopilot and are telling our brain that there is a new way to do this action or approach this behavior. Being conscious and aware allows us to make the best decisions possible for ourselves and also for the people around us. Will you will fall in to that trap of complacency or will you take the steps needed to live a purposeful life in all aspects of what you do?