Self reflection is one of the keys to improvement. Cooks use it; coaches use it; inventors and scientists use it. This blogger uses it! We want students to use reflection to improve their learning, so it's important that teachers use it too. It can easily begin by asking questions that spark our thinking: What did I learn? How would I do that differently next time? What was the best part? What part was the most difficult? Why did that happen? How could I have prevented that from happening? Or ask yourself, as Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for you?"
Reflection increases our awareness of our actions and should be a part of our regular routine. It can be a time to step back and see what we have started, or view what we have set in motion. It provides us an opportunity to monitor progress, assess the plan we have chosen to use, or evaluate the impact of our actions.
Reflection gives us the opportunity to view our work with fresh eyes. Choosing to be self-reflective (or not) can be the difference between good and great. Those "tweaks" that we apply to our plan, or the edits we make to our proposals, as a result of our reflection, might be the difference in whether we succeed or stumble.
Reflection is more than just what's on the surface. It requires you to look deeply and examine details, word choice, process, impact, and results. Reflection requires a closer look along the way, not just at the finish line, so that adjustments can be made which helps us achieve what we set out to accomplish.
So the next time you look into the mirror, instead of asking the question from Snow White, "Who's the fairest of them all?" choose the Dr. Phil question, "How's that working for you?" and see if it doesn't get you better results!