Exercise 1: Keeping a Journal

What is a learning journal?

The learning journal is a collection of your thoughts, feelings, speculations, and sometimes dreams. It is like a map of your learning journey. The learning journal helps us to sort out what’s gone on and to confirm the important things before they get lost. The journal charts the development of your learning and therefore is an important source of evidence about your learning.

What are the benefits of a journal?

  • it’s always available
  • it never answers back
  • it can be revisited
  • it keeps information private
  • it’s a relationship with self
  • it’s writing in the moment
  • it’s validation of your thoughts
  • it’s communication with the self
  • it’s the record of learning and development

What does it look like?

You can use all sorts of writing and drawing, pens or papers, a three ring binder with lots of different shapes and sizes.

Who will read it?

It is for your own eyes only and you will create your own style for writing in it.

What subjects will I write about?

Anything that occurs in your academic or professional environment, in this virtual office or in your personal life that you have energy about; interactions with others; your reactions to information or readings; changes in your beliefs, attitudes, relationships or practice, anything you want to get off your chest.

How do I start?

Try using this template to begin with and you will probably soon find your own preferred way of doing it.

Stage 1 – Describe what happened

  • What occurred?
  • What did you notice about yourself?
  • What did you notice about others?
  • How did you feel?
  • What would you have liked to do differently?
  • How would you have liked to behave?
  • How will you use this next time?
  • What do you hope to achieve by this?

Stage 2 – Now step back and consider. Use the entries in your journal to identify the following;

  • What have you discovered about yourself
  • What do you know now about learning and development that you didn’t know before?
  • What do you realize about your learning and development?
  • How will your new understanding influence your future studies, work or behaviour?
  • What are your feelings about all of this?

What time should I write in my journal?

Anytime or whenever you want to. Some people keep their journals handy by their beds. Timing is vital, as if it is left too long the event or happening may have lost its impact. Alternatively, if writing too soon, the event may be too recent for an effective focus. Only the writer can judge the write time.

First Journal Writing Task

As you begin your first phase in the virtual office, start your first journal entry with a 25 word response to this question: “What brought you here to discover this virtual office for mentoring and coaching?”