In the past few weeks I’ve been revisiting classrooms that I visited in the fall. I’ve been observing and chatting with teachers about the progress they felt that they have made toward the goals they set for themselves this year. I’ve been blown away by what I have seen.
What I’ve been impressed with is how honest in their reflection these teachers have been. It would be easy for these teachers to let reflection fall the wayside. Every teacher that I work with has helium hands – when volunteers are asked for their hands magically rise into the air. So I know that these teachers are so busy, but reflection has become part of their practice, and because of that their classrooms are excelling.
In Maria’s room I could see immediately that her students were much more independent than they were in October. Not only were her students more able to work independently (she wasn’t interrupted during data conferences once!), but her tech integration skills had evolved. She had taken into account that her students were more independent, and created more involved online play paths for her students. This wasn’t an overnight process, she had been reflecting for a while.
In Candase’s room I could hear advice that came from reflection from the day before and even the hour before. Changes on the fly helped later classes work more smoothly than the first groups. Since tears were mentioned as part of the first iterations, I’m thankful for the tips and tricks that were learned and shared.
Sophia is a champion reflector. Check out her blog post about tic-tac-toe choice boards. She hasn’t just offered reflection for herself, but for those of us reading that might want to try it too.
These gals are just three of many that I have seen and worked with!
How has my own reflection been going? I promised a few weeks ago to have a short reflection every day on my Facebook page. I started strong, but tapered off when things got hectic. After these class visits, and many other conversations, I’ve gotten a renewed spirit. If I am to be better – at any of the things I wish I were better at – I’m not going to be able to do it without reflection. I found this article when prepping for this post and the mention of return on investment (ROI) resonated with me. Do I not truly believe that being reflective will give me a good ROI? I have seen it in action! I know that the time spent reflecting gives enormous benefits.
I leave with renewed vigor! I want to honor these amazing teachers I work with by being reflective for them. How do you find the time and energy to reflect? What benefits has it brought to you?