When Life Gets in the Way…and the Importance of Reflection

Do you ever feel like you have every intention of doing something and then life gets in the way?  As I reflect on the 2017 year, I realized that as my kids get older and more involved in activities and sports that my priorities have continued to shift slowly away from where I want to be.  If life were less busy, I would…

  • read more
  • workout more
  • travel more
  • spend more one on one time with my husband
  • and reflect more on my life personally and professionally.

Each year I remind myself how important reflection is for growth not only for students but also for teachers as well.  Reflection is a facet of effective teaching.  Not only does it make me stop and think about the day, it also helps me:

Image result for reflection in teaching

  • evaluate my teaching practices and make changes to how I approach experiences with both teachers and students.
  • be more aware of the types of conversations I am having with colleagues.  Am I helping them move forward or am I allowing them to stay in the same spot.
  • narrow down the most critical tasks I still need to accomplish and celebrate what I completed.

I need to practice what I preach to the mentees that I work with at my school.  I ask them daily to reflect on their practices, yet I have not committed to doing this myself.  The few times I do, I find that I am a more organized and focused coach. The question I had is “Where do I begin?” “What should I reflect on?”  In my quest to find these answers, I came across different questions to help my reflection process.

In the article, “Reflecting on Teaching,” from the Virginia Journal of Education, the authors posed these questions to use for reflection:

  1. What went well today and why?
  2. What could have gone better and why?
  3. What do I want to remember for the future?

Lee Watanabe-Crockett  also shared “10 Self-Reflective Questions for Every Teacher” in his article on reflection:

  1. What was my best moment today and how can I have more moments like it?
  2. What was my most challenging moment and why? How will I respond next time?
  3. Were my students excited to be in class? If not, what can I do to change this?
  4. How was my mood with others today and how can I improve it?
  5. How well did I communicate with others today and how can I do this better?
  6. In what ways did my students surprise me most today?
  7. How did I support my colleagues today and how will I continue to do so?
  8. What are the biggest obstacles to improving my practice and how will I overcome them?
  9. What did I do today for myself and why is this important?
  10. What do I want everyone to be able to say about me at the end of the day tomorrow?

My goal is to be more focused in my reflection.  5-10 minutes every day – whether it is before I leave work, in the car on my way home, or before I go to bed.  I just need to do this. #goalsfor2018

How do you make time to reflect on your teaching?  What questions do you ask yourself to reflect on? 

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