Reflecting on Reflection

A funny thing happened today while I was journaling.

just some notebooks I have on me at this very moment

Before packing up and heading home after this long day,

I set a timer for ten minutes,
opened up to a new page in my notebook,
and grabbed a pen.

I went with the orange one. It felt right.

Journaling is one of the strategies I use
-- inconsistently --
to process all of the things.

A single day in the life of a classroom or school
can involve so many moving parts
and human interactions
and goals with lots of layers

that it doesn't all sink in in real time

and I need a moment.

So for ten minutes, I spill my brain onto the page.

Without any clear objective in mind.
And almost never even going back to re-read what I wrote.

Today's entry started with some healthy rage:
I was/am upset at myself for multiple balls I dropped.

Things I wanted to have done but ended up writing on tomorrow's to-do list,
calendar items I forgot entirely,
people I accidentally inconvenienced,
the lesson that could have been better executed.

You know, your run-of-the-mill beat-yourself-up stuff.

I went into list mode:
I itemized, in orange ink, the Ways I'm Falling Short.

And then, weirdly,
I didn't get past the third item on my list

before my perspective shifted
and I felt totally differently.


I finished off the entry telling myself that this is a Season Of Doing A Lot
and most of it is actually meaningful work
that I genuinely enjoy
and while there's so much room to improve and be better,
that's work I want to do, too.

Then I thought about how reflection is my favorite of SLA's core values
(don't tell the others)

which is how Anna and I came together to lead
a session about it at this year's EduCon,

which I intended to post about prior to this,
and obviously didn't do,
thereby adding to the list of dropped balls for which I here and now forgive myself.

I've written before -- once or twice -- about
the learning that takes place at our school's little conference
and what it's meant to me.

I hope to see you there!

Come and join us as we share our practices for reflection
and how they shape our work as educators.

And so much other stuff.

Conversations I'm especially drawn to this year:

Final plug: early bird registration is on until December 31 :)


  1. Oh man. I am so with you on the dropped balls and the need to just let your brain wander right now. The good news about dropped balls is that they're always still there, just waiting. I so wish I could be there for this conference. Sounds magical.