reflective practice.

A few months ago I attended a two day workshop with Debbie Miller.  It was phenomenal.  The thing I was struck by the most, however, was her commitment to reflective practice.  Everyday after school, she paused to consider how the day went.  She considered her lessons and conferences and reactions to students.  She considered the work students were doing, the questions they had, and the kind of work she would like for them to do in the future.

In the past, I’ve written that when I’m writing and thinking and reflecting on my life (both professional and personal), that is when I’m truly living.  When I don’t have time to write and reflect, then I’m caught up in all of the hub-bub-baloo of life, but not really making sense of it — not really making a difference.

In all honesty, I’ve not truly written for awhile.  I’ve collected bits of life, snatches of conversations, cute stories . . . but I’ve not reflected on these.  Until yesterday, when I wrote on my personal blog:

All this to say that between the cooking and organizing and playing house and tractors and trains and reading and letting the dog out and bathing and bathing and bathing and braiding hair and making play dough sculptures, I’m afraid I’m missing the moments.

The moments of sheer joy and humor and love.  The moments that make up life.  The moments that I’ve dedicated myself to capturing for so many years.  The moments that make me happy.  I’m missing them.  And it makes my soul sad.

This morning as my wait for the dentist approached 40 minutes and I was busy journaling, I reflected again on this idea.  I am so much happier and effective and genuine when I take the time to reflect.  And I think we’ve lost this practice in education.  Can you imagine what the profession would be like if everyday at 3:30, educators pulled out a reflective journal and jotted down their perceptions from the day?  If we considered our conversations and reactions with students?  If we thought deeply about the work our students were doing and where we wanted them to be over the course of time?  And if we wrote the things that brought us joy? 

I think educators would be much happier and effective and genuine.