been doing a lot of this lately. It is by no means an easy process, but it is in fact, an important process.
I recently finished my portfolio for my administrative credential. There were seven elements to produce field work examples of and reflect on. Here is the problem. We did not know we would be doing this, at the start of the program. In fact, we learned of this during the last semester. Why am I sharing this? The reflection piece was extremely difficult because it was very contrived. We were forced to reflect on things that we did almost two years prior. Instead of reflecting in "real time", when it could be valuable, we were pretty much making things up to fit the assignment. The purpose of such reflection was...to get it done. Since this was the purpose, that was the outcome. It got done.
Funny enough, I linked this blog site, to my portfolio site. In my exit meeting, my advisor said to me: "I have read your blogs and really enjoyed them, this is what I was trying to get you to do in the portfolio". Ha! Go figure. Too bad my posts didn't fit into the elements.
So, the very first part of reflection is to know the purpose. I know what it is not. It is not a time to focus on the negative. It is not a time to beat oneself up. It is not time to go down the rabbit hole. This was how I have reflected in the past. What I have found is, no good comes from this. This is why it is crucial, that before you decide to reflect, you need to set your purpose.
For me, now, the purpose of reflection is to learn and grow. It is a chance for me to become a better version of myself. It is a time to look at where I started and where I want to go. It is a time to assess what has and hasn't worked. It is a time, for me, to make a plan for the future.
So for me, I have to actually set aside a time and a place. I personally have two preferred places for reflection. One is my childhood (which is also my current) neighborhood park. As an adolescent, I would go there to shoot baskets and think. As an adult, I either sit under a tree or swing on the swing set. For whatever reason, my thoughts seem clearer.
These work for me...you need to find what works for you.
Now comes the real work. How do you reflect? What do you reflect on? What does that look like? This is something that you need to define for yourself. My only suggestion is be cognizant of your thinking and remember your purpose. Stay positive, this is for growth. Celebrate the bright spots, they are there.
Here are some questions that have worked for me...
1) Where was I a year ago? What were my goals?
2) Where am I, currently, in meeting those goals?
3) What have I done to move myself forward?
4) What have I done successfully? What led to the success?
5) Where did I stumble? Where did I fall? How did I handle this? What was the learning?
6) Where were my struggles, my roadblocks? How did I handle this? What was the learning?
7) What do I need to change, moving forward?
8) What are my new goals? What steps will I take to reach these goals?
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all have areas of growth. As long as we recognize these things with in ourselves and keep moving forward, we are on the right track.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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