Regardless of how much whining I enjoyed last week about the need for reflection amidst the rapid speed of the passing days, it turns out that taking the time to pause and allow students to thoughtfully look back over their work and their year is 1000% worth it. Students’ thoughts and words are important, and we need to offer them chances to share their voices with themselves, their peers, their teachers, and (if it’s appropriate) the word.
No shocker there, right?! This totally qualifies as one of those, “Yeah, I knew that already, and it’s always helpful to hear it again” kind of things.
We have a few different tools to help our students reflect and share their voices, but my favorite one is a sheet with three prompts:
- I am excited about…
- I am nervous about…
- I wish my teacher knew…
These particular prompts force present-moment reflection as well as human-to-human connection. Sometimes it can be easier (and somehow less scary and committing) to sit back and think in terms of the bigger picture as you reflect on larger goals and past stumbling blocks. However, when we have the opportunity to pause, look inwards, and honor our feelings right now, then we ultimately become more aware of the power and legitimacy of our voice. Sharing those thoughts with a trusted adult can give kids the feeling of supportive community, which can only help them grow.
Do you have a favorite way of weaving reflection into your classes? I’d love to hear about it.
Here’s my take-home-message for today’s #sol:
Ignore the pressure of time. Ignore the perceived scarcity of those precious teaching minutes. Ignore the constant outside demands of your time and of your students’ time, and just do it. Ask your students to share their voices. The results of this reflective priority are insightful, illuminating, and important.