A Few Short Questions to Aid Year End Reflection

Dan BeerensThe CACE Roundtable4 Comments

In the mad rush to finish a school year we become calendar driven and event oriented. What we sometimes miss is the opportunity to reflect well – we push that off to June after school is over, but by then we are too tired to want to take too much time for reflection. The missed opportunity of reflection robs us of both satisfaction of work well done and also consideration of what must change for next year. But, what if we planned for reflection? What questions might help us gain some perspective/data for reflection?

For starters, if we are a teacher we might ask our students these questions:

  1. Did I increase your passion for learning this year?
  2. Did I make you feel smarter, more secure, more confident, and more loved?
  3. Ask students to complete this sentence: “One thing to be sure to keep in this class is ________ and one thing to think about eliminating is _____________.

If we are a building principal or in another leadership role we might ask our teachers these questions to help our own reflection on our leadership:

  1. What should I keep doing? Stop doing? Think about doing?
  2. How could I better support your work in the coming year?
  3. Did we meet the goals we set as a professional learning community?

Reflection requires humility – the willingness to ask the questions that we need more information about – so that we can synthesize, consider, and extract valuable lessons. Reflection can be one of the best ways we can learn and grow toward wisdom and Christlikeness. Typically, after a student has misbehaved we most often require reflection of them in order to move forward – shouldn’t we require it of ourselves? Reflection also provides the space for celebration of good things – blessings which lead to gratitude – gratitude for the opportunity to impact the lives of so many – to be in relationship – to grow and work together for an extended period of time of growing, learning, praising, crying, listening, arguing, and caring that makes up our school year!


4 Comments on “A Few Short Questions to Aid Year End Reflection”

  1. Thanks for this wise writing. You are correct that the reflection piece is often missing in our busy-ness. Do I have consent to share this article – or pieces of it – with my community? Thank you for providing inspiration.

  2. I’m always skittish about what will turn up when I ask students to assess my teaching: “No offense, Mr. Bandstra, but…” Still, inviting feedback provides an additional benefit, beyond the opportunity to grow; it builds trust. Young people are more willing to listen, more willing to work with me, when I take their suggestions to heart.

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