Heather McLeod, Cecile Badenhorst and Haley Toll
Cecile Marie Badenhorst, Rhonda Joy, Sharon Penney, Sarah Pickett, Jackie Hesson, Gabrielle Young, Heather McLeod, Dorothy Vaandering and Xuemei Li
For many academics, the challenge of traversing the competitive discourse demands of conducting research and publishing journal articles while navigating teaching and administrative loads often leads to anxiety and stress. Becoming an academic is often an implicit process where one is left alone to find one’s way. Located in Canada, the Faculty of Education, Memorial University, Newfoundland, has over the past six years, hired a number of professionals: educators and counsellors. Many of these new faculty have less experience in conducting research than new faculty in non-professional disciplines. To counter these difficulties, some new academics decided to form a faculty writing group. The writing group had limited success until members set aside a period of five months to devote to reflective practice. Our qualitative analysis of the data shows that the written reflections were crucial for learning the professional practices of becoming an academic. The data indicated that group members found this method enabled them to reflect on the shifting boundaries between personal/professional, work/home, and novice/expert. The weekly writing also allowed members to explore emotions not often voiced in academic spaces. The purpose of this chapter is to show how reflective writing supported the professional development of group members.