Reflection for Learning
As June begins, another school year ends with a familiar set of feelings. Excitement for student accomplishments and summer days ahead mixes with relief that everyone - you included - made it across the finish line. Exhaustion and optimism mingle as you rush to sort the last files and pack up boxes.
Yet, it's this brief moment - right between the students racing out the door and teachers locking the door for the summer - that is probably the single most powerful moment for teacher learning.
Most teachers know something about John Dewey whose forward thinking shaped American education in the early 20th century.
"We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience."
This most famous quote is one I love. It is so simple, but so profound that it makes us stop. And this is exactly what we need to do as we come to end of any big undertaking. Stop and reflect.
It's almost ironic, because teachers spend so much time thinking about how to get their students to reflect - yet the end of the year is the essential time for teachers to stop, drop everything, and reflect. Not on a single lesson or day or student, but their overall experience of the year as a teacher.
Educational coach Elena Aguilar talks about just this need in her EdWeek blog Reflecting on a Year of Learning. Her list of questions is big picture but focused on guiding teachers to improve the quality of their teaching by doing reflective self-assessment.
So, as you enter the summer, and even start dreaming up plans for next year, take time to do for yourself what you ask of your students. It's the key to your teacher (and student) success next year.
Please share these questions with a friend and tell us what you learned this year about your teaching.
About Ahmed Saeed
Ahmed is clear about what counts: people and potential. He's inspired to grow an educational system that truly understands, embraces and supports student differences, and is determined to build a company that will help. His experience at Deloitte & Touche (Middle East), Hood Oil (Yemen), the HSA Group (Brazil) and volunteering for NGOs give him the expertise and perspective to make that possible.
Ahmed shapes strategy and directs the company's finances, managing accounts to international standards, develops strategic partnerships and secures funding. He's earned his masters degree in international business, bachelors in business (finance) and is working towards his certification as a financial analyst.