Clinical Practice Journal Prompts

Clinical Practice Journals

Journaling has a critical role to play as you move through your clinical practice.   Journaling provides opportunities for you to reflect on the contextual factors of the school, and your understanding of the occurrences that you observe; it is not a repository for minute-to-minute recording of incidents.  Further, journaling promotes your ability to reflect on your experiences in and out of the P – 12 classroom, and to share your impressions of the events in which you engage with faculty who are entrusted with your guidance and supervision. 

Journal Expectations  

Timeliness: Teacher candidate submits weekly journal entries as requested without reminders.

Critical Thinking: Teacher candidate responds to journal prompts with substantial information demonstrating 1) application of knowledge, 2) connections between experience and content taught in preparation program.

Substantive Entry: Teacher candidate submits organized and logically sequenced journal and reflection responses.  The entry contains detailed information, connections and reflections of experience.

Writing: Teacher candidate communicates effectively in writing using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Reflection:  Teacher candidate deeply reflects on his/her own practice with evidence of analysis, synthesis or evaluation. Provides detailed examples and makes connections between practice, research and theory.


1.  Use the weekly template, linked below, to respond to the journal and reflection writing prompt.
2.  Save (Save As) your journal entry in a location where you will be able to retrieve it for submission and reference. 
3.  E-mail your weekly journal entry as an attachment to your clinical supervisor.  Submit your journal entries as requested by your seminar instructor.
4.  Write your journal entry using academic language.  Proof read your work.


Do not use student, teacher or other staff names in any journal entry. The journal is used to build an understanding of community, school and classroom factors; and to provide an opportunity to reflect on your professional practice and observations.  It is not appropriate to pass judgement.

Each journal and reflection prompt supports candidates’ growth in the COE Competencies and edTPA and are tagged with the competency(s) and/or tasks to which they are aligned.


Journal Writing Prompt


Week 1


Journal Prompt:  Provide a descriptive overview of your district, school, classroom, and curriculum. How does the environment support the learning that is taking place in the classroom? (C3, edTPA, Task 1)

NJ School Performance Reports

Community Data

Reflection Prompt: What excites you about participating in clinical practice?  What is an area of concern or worry about participating in clinical practice?


Week 2

Journal Prompt: What professional expectations does the school district have for teachers?
How do these expectations support the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers and the National Education Association’s Code of Ethics of the Education Profession? (C16)

Reflection Prompt:  What excites and worries you about being transitioning from a student to a professional?  (C16)


Week 3

Journal Prompt:  What are your P-12 learners interests, strengths, needs and developmental domains (cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical)?  (C1, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt:  How is the information that you gained from the inventory impacting your teaching? (C2, edTPA Task 1)


Week 4

Journal Prompt:  What classroom management strategies are being used in the classroom by you and your clinical educator?  How do these strategies help develop a safe and positive community of learning? (C3, edTPA Task 2)

Reflection Prompt: What classroom management strategies have you tried that have been the most successful? Are there times during the day when you find it harder to get and/or keep the students' attention?  How have you incorporated technology to help motivate and provide an opportunity for self-directed learning?  (C3, edTPA Task 2)


Week 5

Journal Prompt:  What digital resources have you accessed to research and select teaching and learning strategies to use in your teaching? What research-based instructional/learning strategies do you use to promote critical thinking and prompt learner responses to demonstrate understanding of the content being taught? Provide specific examples. (C7, edTPA Task 2)

Reflection Prompt:  What researched-based instructional/learning strategy was the most successful and why? (C11, edTPA Task 3)


Week 6 

Journal Prompt:  What informal and formal assessments have you designed and used to understand learner learning? (C8, edTPA Task 1)  How did you use the data from the assessments to inform your teaching? (C9, edTPA Task 3) In what ways do learners, parents and teachers review and understand their assessment data? (C10)

Reflection Prompt:  How did you provide feedback to learners and how did you engage learners in using the feedback? (C10, edTPA Task 3)



Week 7 

Journal Prompt: Select one lesson you taught this week. What content specific language demands (i.e. vocabulary, discourse, syntax) are being addressed in the lesson?  What language supports were used to support student understanding and use of the academic language of the content?  How do you know that the learners can use the academic language of the content appropriately? (C7, edTPA Task 1)

Reflection Prompt:  What concerns have you overcome in the 7 weeks of clinical practice?  What concerns or questions do you have? (C13)


Week 8 

Journal Prompt:  Select one lesson taught this week and review the assessment data. If you could re-teach the lesson again to the same group of learners what would you change to support learner achievement? Make note of what occurred in the lesson taught and reflect on why you would change it to support learner achievement. (C14, edTPA Task 3)

Reflection Prompt:  How have you applied feedback from your clinical educator and supervisor to improve your teaching? (C15)


Week 9

Journal Prompt:  What type of questions and questioning techniques do you use in your lessons? How do your questions and questioning techniques build learner knowledge and understanding? (C12, edTPA Task 2)

Reflection Prompt:  Think about a lesson you taught that was not observed by your clinical supervisor.  What feedback would you give yourself about the lesson? (C13, edTPA Task 3)


Week 10

Journal Prompt:  In what professional development (including grade level meetings, department meetings, IEP meetings etc.) have you participated and how did it influence your teaching practice or your understanding of the profession? (C15)

Reflection Prompt:  Review all of your observation assessment feedback in Chalk and Wire and reflect on areas in which you have grown and developed and areas in which you still need to improve.  (C17, edTPA Task 3)


Week 11

Journal Prompt:  As it relates to learner differences, what about your teaching are you most proud or satisfied? What areas need to improve so to better support learner achievement for all learners?  (C2, C9, edTPA Task 3)

Reflection Prompt: What is special and unique about your teaching and how do these qualities support diverse learners and needs?  (C3)


Week 12

Journal Prompt:  How are you incorporating 21st Century Learning and Careers (College and Career Ready) learning standards into your lessons?  (C5, C18)

Reflection Prompt:  Think about a lesson you taught that was not observed by your clinical supervisor.  What feedback would you give yourself about the lesson? Provide specific experiences in your response.(C13, edTPA Task 3)


Week 13

Reflective Journal Prompt:  What resources and materials were the most impactful on your P-12 learners’ growth?  (C4)


Week 14


Reflective Journal Prompt:  In what ways did you impact your P-12 learners during your clinical practice? In what ways did your experience with P-12 learners change you as a professional?  (C14)


Week 15

Reflective Journal Prompt: What excites and worries you now as you continue on the professional teaching continuum - transitioning from a teacher candidate to a beginning teacher?