Reflection is the skill of deeply thinking about something we have done so as to learn how to improve our performance next time. It simultaneously looks back at an experience in order to extract the learnings and looks to the future by thinking about how to do things better next time. It is a skill which needs practise.
" We don't learn from experience. We learn by reflecting on experience."
This quote perfectly sums up why we need to practise and develop our reflective skills. Only when we give ourselves the time and the space to quietly think over an experience we've had, do new patterns of thought emerge. We see things from another perspective, we see more clearly what helped or hindered the outcome. From this thoughtful consideration, we have ideas about how to do better next time.
Here are some simple reflective exercises to develop your reflective skills.
Five Minute Feedback - exercise
What is Feedback?
Feedback is the breakfast of champions
A favourite quote of mine which gets to the heart of the importance of feedback. Without soliciting feedback we may hold our own distorted view of our performance. Getting specific and constructive feedback from peers can really nourish us and help us grow. There is an art of giving feedback so that it doesn't offend and that it gets heard.
Do you avoid getting feedback?
Do you find yourself feeling defensive when someone starts giving you constructive feedback?
Do you shut down and think that person's feedback isn't true?
Feedback isn't about it being true or not but it is worth thinking about how their perception could have been formed and how you contributed to that.
And feedback is only helpful if it's timely, not too long after the event. Getting into the habit of giving and getting feedback is a gift.
Try this Five-Minute Feedback exercise at the end of a long day of one-to-one lessons.
What reflection time do you incorporate in your lessons? Do you involve the student? How?
When and how often do you solicit feedback from your student?
When and how often do you give specific and constructive feedback to your student?