January 22, 2016
Self-reflection is defined as, “meditation or serious thought about one’s character, action, and motives.” Along with teaching our students the core subjects of math, reading, writing, science and social studies, we work with them to develop characteristic traits such as honesty, hard-work, perseverance, responsibility and reflection. This learning takes place in many different ways throughout the day. Using an academic performance scale and individual “exit slips”, teachers will often ask students at the end of a lesson or activity to rate their understanding and knowledge of a concept. Some of our teachers use a “Stop & Think” paper to allow students to process through a behavioral incident. As an administrator, I will often talk with and ask a student:
Will you tell me what happened—this allows the student’s voice to be heard and to be able to share his or her version of the events
How did it impact others—to show the student that their actions or behaviors affect other people
If you had to do it again, what do you think—provides the opportunity for the students to reflect back and take responsibility for their actions
What should be the consequences—allows the student a chance to give thoughts to restitution such as an apology, loss of recess, phone call home, suspension
How can we work on not having this happen again—allows student to think about different choices, ideas or strategies they can use in the future
Being self-reflective takes time and practice. Also, this work needs to be done when a student has calmed his or her emotional state and feels safe and secure. Students as young as five can benefit from starting to practice these skills of being self-reflective. The time spent is not only beneficial now, but will continue to make positive dividends in the future.
Have a great weekend!