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Recently I began keeping a professional journal of successes.  It has helped me reflect on the joy, the positive and everyone involved in making great things happen for students.  How do you reflect?

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Hi Sandra,

I am a student at Cal State San Marcos and plan on becoming a teacher myself. Your post caught my attention while working on an assignment for my education technology class. It's great that you are keeping a professional journal and taking the time to reflect. I'm not sure if many of us are doing that nowadays. We seem to be tied up with work, school, friends, family and other obligations.  We forget to slow down,breathe and smile. I am always on the go! Having two jobs and being full time student, I don't have time to myself as often as I should. As a future educator, reflecting once a week can help me manage my stress personally and professionally. By doing that, I can also keep a record of my growth and gain insight about myself as an educator.  Thanks for sharing Sandra!

-Kelly T

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for your reply.  I have been a principal for 10 years.  I try to reflect every day for myself and as a model for my staff and students.  When I was a beginning teacher, I did not realize how important it was to stop and reflect as part of best practice.  Now, I really appreciate how critical reflection is in our fast-paced world of teaching and learning.  Not only is pausing, breathing and connecting good for us, it is necessary for students. Students need time to integrate new learning and make meaningful connections in a quiet, thoughtful space.  That's where the "ah-ha" moment is for all of us - in reflection.  I admire your realizing this early in your career and can see it is a central belief in your core values.  Bravo! Best of luck! Thanks for writing!

-Sandra

Reflection is so important. I am still a young pup as far as teaching goes, but in the past 4 years reflection has been one of my primary sources of growth. Whether it be something as simple as writing notes in your plan book on how a lesson went or what you could do differently next time, reflection is something you need to do as a teacher.

My class has been working on a Challenge Based Learning Project for a couple of months now. We are winding down on one section and had my students reflect on the whole process. Both the students and I agree, reflecting has really fostered their learning- not only big picture but on what we do everyday!

Next year, I plan on pursuing National Board Certification. I expect this process to be challenging and rewarding at the same time!

I started reflecting through my blog! It is amazing how much you learn once you sit down and spend some time thinking about how a lesson played out, how you reacted to student behaviour, how your student's reacted to your behaviour, etc. I like the blogging aspect because it provides me with an opportunity to get feedback from other people.

I especially love this student teaching placement because I am able to teach two different grade 5/6 classes the same lessons. This has allowed me to plan my activities, teach a lesson to one class, reflect and modify (where needed), teach a lesson to the next class and reflect again! It is very interesting to see how different students respond to the same lesson. There is so much to be learned through reflection.

Hi Sandra,
I'm a facilitator for the National College of School Leadership and we keep our own and encourage those we work with to keep a learning log for personal reflection. I find it invaluable in several ways. Firstly it gives me some personal time to slow down and to think about me and what I'm doing. Secondly, it gives me the opportunity to think about what I've done, and more importantly, how I've done it. It's not always easy to drill down to the behaviors and words that have been the difference that's made the difference. And that's what appeals to me about personal reflection, and the public version of it (blogging), it's not easy. Because anything worthwhile never is.

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