June 22, 2016
Angela Stockman, in her article 10 Reflective Questions to Ask at the End of Class, provides several observations about self-reflection, but the one that stuck with me was:
“… reflection helps us advocate for ourselves and support others. Taking the time to reflect enables us to identify what we want, what we need, and what we must do to help ourselves. It also helps us realize how our gifts and strengths might be used in service to others.”
I have held some skepticism around self-reflection, but what I have come to understand is that self-reflection is, for me, where the learning happens. It’s not a passive activity. It’s not always comfortable because sometimes it requires me to acknowledge I do not always achieve the result I wanted…but it is in these spaces of discomfort, of contemplation, that I comprehend what I can do differently next time. I grow.
The article I’ve referenced provides you with some questions you can ask your students which will help to cultivate in them the ability to self-assess through using self-reflection….but are you buying what you’re selling?
Do participate in reflective teaching? Reflective teaching means, according to Julie Tice, “looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works – a process of self-observation and self-evaluation.” There are a number of ways to do it and this easy-to-read article Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice will provide you with some hints on how to collect information and what to do with it once you have it.
I know, it feels like this is just one more thing to do in an already busy day…but we need to think about how taking this step will prevent us from becoming complacent and from making the same mistakes, over and over.
Are you willing to settle, to live with good enough?