- What were your successes and failures this year?
- How do you know?
- What are you using to measure success?
“We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.” ~John Dewey Power of Reflection The school year is over and the summer is upon us. Much of summer work in schools and districts is governed by preparation, future goals, and initiatives. This important work is rooted in the knowledge that a productive summer is the foundation for a successful school year. The challenge is diving into goal setting and planning for the new school year too quickly. Prior to setting new goals and focusing on new initiatives, time spent reflecting on the previous school year is critical. There’s never a dull day in education. The experience gained each and every day has the potential to lead to incredible growth and understanding. However, we disagree that experience alone is the best teacher if not coupled with reflection. Time must be set aside for deep, focused thinking. According to a study (conducted by HEC Paris, Harvard, and The University of North Carolina), individuals given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences significantly improved their performance beyond those who simply continue to have experiences. To truly be a lifelong learner, reflection needs to be a part of the educational prescription. So prior to reading a new book, setting a new goal, investigating a new pedagogical strategy, we simply say—reflect: