Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Time for Reflection

I live in extremes. In the summer, I have time for reflection, questions, exploration, discussions with others and observation. During the school year, I have the privilege of spending my days reading, writing and thinking with six, seven and eight year olds. They present so many opportunities for teaching. Their art, writing, interests in reading and questions about science, math and the world help me to plan for their work. Every year when I go back to school I ache to bring my summer thinking and being with me. But the general business of the school day seems to suck all the life out of me. I want to take more time to think about my day. I need to bring these summer and school year worlds together. I want time to talk with the other educators I work with. How can I slow down? Is it as simple as making the choice to take time and reflect. Do I practice it more until it becomes habit?

Writing, reading, talking and listening seem to be the best ways for me to reflect. I hope my students are getting enough time to engage in these activities to actualize their learning. As a learner, I am feeling overwhelmed with tasks that are taking away too much of my energy that should be focused on reflecting and planning. I need to find a way to stop expending the majority of my energy on managing and move toward a more reflective way of living.

4 comments:

Mary Lee said...

I'm sitting here at my school computer at 9:00 after a night of conferences that went from 4:00 to 7:40 on 20 minute intervals with two breaks. I have a meeting before school tomorrow morning, a short planning period, and I'm giving two quizzes that aren't made up yet. So I'm not sure I have much valid advice to give you. But I think that we have to grab our time in MOMENTS, especially these first weeks of school. It's hard, when we're used to having HOURS in the summer. But if moments is what we've got, we have to get them before they flit by.

Good luck. If you come up with some amazing solution, let me know!

Susan said...

Isn't it frustrating when we are bogged down in the classroom and there ISN'T time for reflection? And making time is so critical. I think it makes for better learners.

:-) Susan

Ruth said...

What a powerful post you have here. I believe slowing down is a choice. I love how Mary Lee advises to grab-hold of the moments. It's the reflection that makes us better. It's the reflection that makes it real.

I believe that if we're not reflective, then it's all for naught. The point of teaching, the point of living, is to be intentional.

Simplify. Go with the flow. And enjoy the journey.

Good luck! I'm looking forward to your next post to hear more about how it's going. :)

Amy said...

I don't have a typical teacher schedule, but I too often make plans to spend more time reflecting (as well as planning & researching). And of course, most of these lofty plans never become a reality.

Actually, my schedule has changed dramatically this past year, and it's not as packed as it used to be. Yet it still seems like there aren't enough hours in the day. I can't win!

I think the trick is to plan, or schedule, the time for reflecting (or whatever else) into you day/week/month. That's hard to do though when there are so many other things that seem to take priority.