In this month's issue of the Virginia Journal of Education, there is an article that I co-authored with James Stronge (author of Qualities of Effective Teachers) on reflection.The "aha" for me in the article was classifying thoughts by their reflective state. Sometimes just having a label to attach to a thought can help in the processing of the event. The three states are: emotional, acknowledging, and questioning. Often times, a reflection involves multiple reflective states, but once clear of the emotional response, I feel free to explore the issue. The article addresses in a nutshell developing a reflective process through the use of three questions (an idea I borrowed from my mother who always started her classes with three questions on a topic) as well as how to support colleagues' reflective practice.
The three questions are:
- What went well today and why?
- What could have gone better and why?
- What do I want to remember for the future?
Certainly there are otherways to reflect. The three questions get you started. For me, the questions provide a frame to decompress from work as well as hold onto what was worthwhile and process what needed to be better.