Every Friday, I give my students a Weekly Reflection Sheet. I’ve done this with every homeroom that I’ve had. Why? Because I want my students to reflect.
Admittedly, this hasn’t met with the success that I would like for it to have. Most students just write in a quick quip to get it done or don’t do it at all. But, some students put thoughts down on paper. Some students take the time to think about what their week was like, what they’re looking forward to, and what they might want to let me know.
For me, self-reflection is one of the greatest tools in education. When students think seriously about what they want from their time in school, they can then start taking charge of their education. And, students need to be the ones who lead the learning.
I’ve found that many students think of school as something they have to do. And, well, yes, they do have to show up to school. There is a legal mandate for them to do so. But, there is also great potential to be manifested for the students who can turn an obligation into an opportunity. Self-reflection, I maintain, is one way to help this transformation occur.
For me, the curriculum is an opportunity to engage students in the varied and interesting aspects of the world. Once we’ve dealt with the boring bits, we can then immerse ourselves in the fascinating ways in which the world works. Step one is understanding what fascinates the students. Prompting and encouraging students to become self-reflective and self-aware is one way to do this. Asking them to tell me what they are thinking is the only way I’ll ever find out what motivates them.
I’ve attached a copy of what I ask my students to fill in every week. Use it as it is or completely overhaul it. If you try it with your students or have suggestions for how this could be improved, leave a comment.
Think about it.