Thank you to Ruth Ayres for the opportunity to focus on celebrations every week!
Today I want to celebrate reflection. I write. Today I write for many reasons. I've been thinking about why I started writing. My five year old niece, Jillian, just visited me for a few days and I shared my notebook with her. I asked her to write in it and draw a picture in it. She loved that and wanted a notebook of her own. We decorated it and wrote in it. I don't know if she will ever write in it again, but it reminded me of when I was little. I wondered when I decided to write.
In my first notebooks, it's a diary...an account of my days, with very little commentary on that. It's like I wanted to remember. As I continued to write through my teen years, the writing got more creative...I included poems I wrote...and very dramatic, after all, I was a teenager. I feel like it was around this time when I started to realize that writing helped me figure out what I was feeling. When I get upset, there are times when I can't figure out why. I'm not exactly sure what is bothering me or why something is bothering me so much! I discovered that writing helps me figure that out and I feel better. It doesn't solve my problems, but it gives me the opportunity to look at them clearly. The word "reflection" wasn't part of my vocabulary, but that's what I was doing. I was reflecting on something that had just happened and diving in deeply.
Reflection helps me in all areas of my life. I want to talk about my professional reflection. As a teacher, days fly by on hyper-speed during the academic year. Taking time to write helps me focus. Making a schedule to write a few times every week about my teaching or my students or my professional goals has made me a better teacher. The "writing it down" part is amazing because there's a record of it and I can go back to it every year. This allows me to see patterns and growth and change.
An article popped up this morning from NPR about this very topic, "The Writing Assignment that Changes Lives". It's worth a read. It addresses the improvement in students who write reflectively. I agree, but I want to add this...Teachers need to write reflectively. Our reflection helps us grow. Our reflection models for students how to do it and how valuable this practice is. What do you think of writing reflectively? How has it changed you? I celebrate reflection this morning!