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I Reflect for Me

My blogging is my own.

I don't do it for anyone else or for anything else.

Part of the reason I took to writing in this way was that I wanted an authentic outlet for expressing my challenges and successes as an educator, parent, and person.

For me, the process of writing about what happens is reflective, cathartic, and growth-oriented.

Although, it pleases me that others can relate to what I'm saying and sometimes, share their experiences as well. In this way, we grow together and in meaningful ways.

At the heart of it all, though, it is for me.

It's my truth and through my truth, I have grown and have had the great opportunity to develop and share my learning with others which somehow keeps me more honest with myself and readers.

As I move forward in my career, I know different constraints may change the way I see this creative space, but as a writer, the act of creating every day is an essential part of my process.

Plus how could I pitch this activity to students and/or colleagues if I don't partake in it myself?

Modeling is at the forefront of my practice and I can only ask others to do what I myself am willing to do. This is an important tenet to me as a human being and now as a coach. People more readily accept direction from a person who is among them, willing to get dirty and hear what others say than someone who merely dictates orders from above.

So I get into the trenches and as I'm considering the highs and lows of any situation, I'm critically observing myself as an outsider looking in, always seeking improvement.

I ask myself honestly

  • How did this go today? How do I know?

  • What would I do differently?

  • What would I keep the same?

From there I consider the goals for the lesson, the objectives:

  • Did I meet them?

  • How do I know?

This is what I write about. Often I'm sharing the specific ways I've been improving what I do or sharing tips on how others can improve as well based on successes or failures or both.

I can't see myself as an educator without this process. There's just too much learning going on and even in the lulls, there are moments of truth that profoundly impact the way I see, shifting my perspective and forever changing what I thought I knew. These aha moments make me wonder why it took me so long to get it or how I could possibly have thought I did get it at some point earlier.

The truth is I am ever-growing and the experiences I have had shape what I see now and couldn't be seen before the other details uncovered themselves and the readiness has come. Much like any learner, until we want or can make sense of what is in our paths, we usually pass over it until one day we notice... because we can. And that is the day that makes the obvious impact, although there were many smaller moments prior to the big one that has happened to make it so.

For this, I'm so grateful... to have had the chance to pass by the details many times, and recreate the art with each iteration, taking away exactly what I need at that moment, excitedly taking it in, and eagerly waiting to gather more.

How do you reflect and how has it changed your practice? Please share

*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in July 2016.


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