This week’s chapter in Becoming a Better Teacher is all about reflection. As teachers, we are told consistently to reflect, and we do. I know that personally, I reflect upon each lesson and each day after completion and consistently ask myself what went well and what could have been done better. It’s how we improve ourselves over the days, months, and years to become the best teachers we can be.
This chapter asks the question: “how can teachers get students to invest in and value reflection?” Indeed, we all understand the importance of reflection, but it’s more difficult for students to think about work after it’s been completed. So frequently in our traditional education system, students focus on getting the work in by the deadline, they scan their returned projects for a grade, and they toss it aside. Too infrequently they are asking for clarification and reflecting on how they can improve.
Here, we are given ideas about how to include reflective activities in our teaching practice. It also focuses on having students become more specific in responding to reflective questions. Too often kids can be too broad in answers; if we continue to allow this to happen, they’ll have a difficult time discussing their thoughts and ideas in older grades and post-secondary education.
The chapter offers examples of prompts for reflection for kids, as well as checklists they can fill out which are also helpful for the teacher to improve lessons and activities so that they become more engaging and useful to kids.
If you’re interested in the book, here’s the link to it on Amazon.