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Reflecting on Reflection

I just realized that it has been over a month since my last blog post, and that is pretty disturbing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not egotistical enough to be fearful that my millions of loyal readers are thirsting for the wisdom that I impart. Instead, when I’m not blogging, I worry that I’m not spending enough time reflecting. An old adage says “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?” I wonder if the parallel is true for reflection. If you reflect on your work, but no one hears about it, is it truly reflective?

As teachers, we must constantly assess and reflect. Every choice of my day is based on the information gathering that I do as a teacher. Today we were working on rounding numbers to the nearest ten. When my students couldn’t tell me that 19 is between 10 and 20, my lesson plan for the day went out the window. I couldn’t press on with my intended plan when the prior knowledge that was required was not present. I reflected, adjusted and progressed. In education today, we love acronyms. So, did I rap?

My lack of blogging does not mean that I have not reflected, but without putting these reflections into a tangible context, can I maximize their potential for growth? When I blog to reflect, I get the benefit of feedback from peers and friends, other experts who could probably share a thousand ways of teaching rounding that would benefit my students. When I publish my thought process, ideas, frustrations and triumphs that blossom through reflection, I can actually better myself as a reflective teacher. The act of putting these precise reflections into cohesive words and sentences offers a deeper chance for me to explore my ideas with precision and purpose.

In a year where constant reflection and assessment are going to be more critical than ever, I am pledging to make this process more open, honest and published.

PHOTO: Pool Reflections by Will Montague

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8 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steven W. Anderson, Kelly Hines and Kathleen Burgess, NC DEN . NC DEN said: New at Keeping Kids First: Reflecting on Reflection http://ow.ly/2ALdP […]

  2. Reading your blog made me reflect back to my days in elementary school. My teacher, Mrs. Nelson, taught our class to round by using what children respond to best…food and fun. She used small treats to teach us the “art of rounding”. The most amazing thing was our entire class learned how to round by the end of the day! We were rounding little pros and happy ones. We loved the creativeness, the fun and most importantly the treats.

    I am new to your blog and I look forward to reflecting on your stories and words of wisdom so that I am able to apply them in my teachings.

  3. While reading your blog for the first time, I caught myself slipping into a self-reflection of my own weekly triumphs and failures. After re-reading your blog, I decided a reflection was exactly what I needed too! Reflecting on your own thoughts, and actually blogging about them, makes them seem more realistic. What good is reflection if you do not take the time to put it into words? Your brain is far superior to your fingers or mouth. Which is why making your reflection tangible helps you to comprehend what you are telling yourself. Also, getting feedback from other bloggers is helpful if you’re reflecting on a specific problem. Good luck blogging, and I hope you remember to reflect and POST more often.

  4. Thank you for posting on this topic. I commented on your previous post about being a student in EDM310. Dr. Strange is requiring us to maintain blogs for the class. Your post is very well stated and supports Dr. Strange’s emphasis on the importance of blogging for teachers. In the short time that I have maintained my blog, I’ve found that it has allowed me to better organize my thoughts. As I continue my blogging, I imagine I’ll look back and reflect on the ideas and opinions in my past and compare them to my present ones.

  5. Hello again I am still following your blog for my class at USA and I want to comment about the tree falling in the forest. Even though we do not hear it happen it still leaves an impact on everything around it. Just like teachers we leave a lasting impression on our students everyday. The use of your blog helps you reflect through a public outlet but personally we go through our actions over and over again in our minds. We wonder if we could have improved on the work we already done or how to do something better next time. So personal reflection is important in critiquing ourselves even if we don’t put it on a blog. But sometimes it is nice to share your outlook with someone. If you would like to read my summary about your posts check out http://mathenymalissaedm310.blogspot.com/

  6. I came upon your blog site after viewing your presentation on Creating STEM Units in the K-20 Online Conference (nice presentation–I’ll post a response there).

    I read with interest this entry about reflections. As a fellow blogger, I too have struggled with not posting regularly. I will have an interesting insight while reading or working, and will think, “It would be interesting to explore these ideas in a blog.” But I don’t find, or make, the time to do just that. When I don’t put ideas “on paper” they tend not to be as fleshed out in my head. When I do get them written down, they tend to live on in my work and thinking much more.

    So as I reflect on your thought, “If you reflect on your work, but no one hears about it, is it truly reflective?” For me, it’s less about someone else hearing it, and more about me “hearing” it–understanding all of its nuances and how I make connections to other topics.

    Thanks for helping me discover this insight about the importance of blogging for myself!

  7. Thank you for taking the time to check out my K12 Online presentation and respond on my blog. Reflective space is critical, and I think some people can really wrap their heads around their own reflection. For me, the act of putting it into my blog actually forces me to articulate my own thinking, if even for my self. Thank you for sharing!

  8. passing along some I will bookmark this and keep an eye on updates. I wish every blogger paid so much attention to their blogs.. work

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