The Power of Reflection


brain image has many definitions for reflection. I found one most interesting — “an unfavorable remark or observation.”  What an odd definition for such a powerful tool.  I have been asking my students to reflect on their work for years — knowing that through reflection we grow in our understanding of both ourselves and the content we are learning. As I further pondered this definition, I began to see some truth in it.  Through reflection, we see how things (life, love, teaching, etc.) could have been done differently.  I guess if it could have been done differently, that means I failed the first time, right?

I think (no, I know) that it is this fear of failure that has kept me from blogging.  I have read, commented, and even tweeted, but blogging seemed too far out of my comfort zone — what on Earth do I have to say that someone else would be interested in  reading?

Now, I have always been a reflective thinker.  I reflect on each day’s lesson, pouring over the details, wondering why the same lesson worked with some classes and not others.  My reflective process, however, often involved post-it notes and “to-do” lists.  Blogging, not so much.

Today marks my 4th post, and as I write, I am finally realizing the cathartic nature of reflecting…reflecting for others to see.  This is no private journal.  I am letting the world experience my successes and failures because an authentic audience adds purpose.  Yes, I reflected on my teaching, but now others can reflect on it as well.  What better way to grow than to let others in and take part in your growth?

I feel today how I have always hoped my students would feel as they reflected on their own work — stronger.  I fear that probably has not been the case.  What was their authentic audience?  I had not given them one — an audience of one may not be enough.  Tomorrow starts a new day, a day in which I engage my students in writing beyond just me as the reader.  Here’s to tomorrow.

What ways do you bring authenticity into the classroom?  


2 thoughts on “The Power of Reflection

  1. asirovy says:

    Starting a blog is “no private journal” – you are right about that! I applaud you for sharing your teaching journey with the rest of us. We can learn so much more from each other than we can by ourselves. I look forward to reading more from you.


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