Reflection for Growth

Reflection. Such an important part of one’s growth but something we don’t often take the time to do. My definition of reflection is the thinking about an event, lesson, school year or discussion and determining what I would keep or change for the next time. What went well and what needs an overhaul. Over the last few years, I have written about ways that I have reflected on my school year. I have written myself a reflection letter and asked my client school teachers to do that too. I have had teachers write personal goals for the following year as a way to reflect on their teaching. These goals are then used as the basis of our weekly meetings. During Covid, I wrote a series of Instagram posts about what I was learning as an educator and used those as my reflection points. But I found that reflecting on my growth and the growth of my teachers and students allows me to see our successes.This practice also leads to me write my points or goals that I want to use in my teacher coaching.

Recently at my client High School, we asked the students to reflect on their school year. As a small 2year old school we were able to do this as a end of year activity. Each student was given a pink index card to write a personal success and a yellow index card to write a community success. We asked them not to write their names on the cards. After collecting the cards,  the Head of School read aloud a yellow community success and I read aloud a pink personal success. What we read blew us away! Many of the successes were about the progress or growth the students felt: creating an event from an idea; taking better notes and seeing how that affects their learning (and yes their grades). A consistent theme that came from the community cards was how the girls grew into an even stronger school community. This is definitely an idea that can be done in a class or a grade level.

This year I had one group of teachers do the shapes reflection. Just want to say that I did not design this idea but have seen it in a variety of places (social media, Responsive Classroom materials). This reflection can be done after a workshop, at the end of a book study, or at the end of the school year. I love the idea behind this because it involves thinking about the past, discovering what one may still be contemplating, and creating an action plan for moving forward. I like to ask the participants to write their circle ideas on a circle sticky to put on a poster board. I can then collect them or take a picture and this gives me my next steps to support this group. Definitely an activity that can be done with students after a unit as a review and to see what they are still questioning.

In regards to the recent High School reflection activity, I reread their responses before I wrote this post. I could feel their satisfaction in their individual and communal successes. What could be a better way to finish off the school year! And as I look forward to next year I am reminded about what I wrote in my reflection letter a few years ago: As I look to this upcoming new school year, once again I am filled with excitement for what can be accomplished always with an eye for student growth as the benchmark.

Are you taking a few minutes to reflect on this school year? Do you have your students reflect on the school year? Share your ideas with me on Instagram or Twitter (@edtechease) or Facebook ( or email me,

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