Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I Reflect

reflectIn Reflection Trumps Connection from Ideas and Thoughts, Dean Shareski  asks,

“So if you don’t blog, how and where do you reflect? Twitter doesn’t count. It may spark reflection, as it did for me with this post but reflection is not found in 140 characters. If blogging doesn’t work for you, what does? Is it visible?”

As you can tell, I blog and that is how I reflect. But reading this post, it reminded me why I reflect and how important reflection is.

In the military and law enforcement, they call it debriefing. I guess reflecting is too sissy like for them! But even they think it is important to reflect and evaluate so why aren’t we doing more of that in education. Maybe we do it but don’t recognize we are doing it or maybe we don’t do it formally.

When I was preparing for national board certification, reflection was extremely important. It wasn’t enough that we taught a lesson well but we needed to reflect about what we did. We needed to explain the rationale for teaching the lesson, our process, and explain in detail why we did what we did.

What is the point of teaching something if I don’t know why I am teaching it? I respect my students too much to give them busy work. If I don’t have a good enough reason, then I shouldn’t be teaching something.

Then I look at the process I use to teach something. Am I teaching it in the most effective way? Are there steps that I take for granted but I am leaving out when teaching it? One way that I catch this is by practicing my lesson beforehand. This helps me check to see if I have all the materials I need.

Then after my lesson, I like to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. I also think about what I would do differently. This helps me make future lessons better.

Sometimes my reflections lead to new lessons because my students get so inspired that they want to learn more. That always tells me that my lesson hit the right spot! If it makes them wanting more, I feel that I’ve done a good job.

I think writing this reflection down is important, whether it is in a blog or a journal or even if I do it in a video. There is something about putting it in words that makes the reflection clearer and more meaningful to me.

So, do you reflect? If you do, please tell how you do. If not, why not? Please share.

Image: 'Arizona high country'
Found on flickrcc.net

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