We revisited our conversation about reflection because the kids started discussing how they reflect all the time and some of the kiddos probably don’t even know it. Enter Synonyms. It was a nice connection between two areas of learning – what synonyms can you find for reflection? Here is what we uncovered:
The process was harder than we anticipated. Synonyms were tricky to find, but we could communicate LOTS of examples of reflection – the WHEN of reflection. After chatting about how and when we reflect, we started chatting about WHY we reflect? What is the purpose of reflection?
I won’t lie, my heart was supremely full during this conversation. I, like most educators, have my own insecurities. Engaging in this project, and honouring the authentic and ‘real’ voices of my students, has opened me up to some pretty humbling feedback. I had fully anticipated that when I asked the kids why we reflect, they would instantly respond “because you make us,” but they didn’t. I was delighted that they didn’t see reflection as a chore or something they are ‘forced’ to do, and doubly delighted to hear how much they valued reflection and how connected they were to the why.
The finally bullet spawned another level of conversation too – talking about our feelings. How do we feel when we reflect? Is it a singular experience, or are there different feelings/emotions? Are there shared/common feelings? And this is what they shared:
I felt so grateful for their contributions because each feeling/emotion was accompanied by a personal experience/example. I am keenly mindful that developing trust is an essential part of developing a reflective culture – who will share their inner conversations, feelings, and connections if they don’t trust their community and feel safe with them? This conversation was an affirmation that we are doing something right – there was a deep level of trust and the kids were exceedingly vulnerable as they shared their own reflective experiences and the emotions that accompanied them.
They are still keen to create video about reflection (which is a foundational part of the Core Competencies) to help teachers as they help students. I *think* I’m going to contact a trusted colleague and work on a collaborative video – stay tuned.