I often hear that with #Reflection comes #Change and with #Change comes #Growth, but how do we find the place that is the honest gauge of our #Reflection?

Do you ever ask yourself at the end of the day “Why did I do that?”, or “How could I have said that?”, even “I cannot believe that happened today, what a dingbat I am”! If you aren’t asking yourself those types of questions each and everyday, how do you reflect, change and grow?

Honest reflection is a true test of courage. It is not easy to ask ourselves these questions, take risks, adjust mid-course, forgive ourselves, or start over. And even harder, we have to be ready to go again the next day!

I know that on a daily basis, I make plenty of mistakes, bad choices, hasty decisions and say things I certainly don’t mean, but the only way I can grow is to be #Bold, have the #Courage to move ahead and really marinate in self reflective thought. Many things can get in my way and affect my mindset, such as; my state of hunger, state of anxiety, sleeplessness, a hit to my ego, or even an angry parent or colleague could have messed with my mind that day. The one #Must that needs to be a part of my toolkit has to be the #Courage to go over my day visually, figure out the circumstance of decision and dig deep. Dig deep into the heart of my ego and figure out what happened at that moment. Each day and instance will be different and depending on my #Goals and state of which direction I am headed professionally, I need to be mindful and cognizant on my actions.

So, why does it take such true #Courage for us to reflect honestly? Well, one thing is that it can really sting. Bad. Our egos don’t naturally allow us to do something that we look back upon as “Bone headed” or a “Poor decision” easily, but with a #GrowthMindset, a supportive #PLN, strong colleagues, teammates and supervisors, the culture can change.

Of course I don’t purposefully intend to go to school with the desire to speak to a child, parent, colleague, teacher or friend in an adverse or negative way, but hey, we are all human, right? It happens. The only thing that can bring solace is an apology and the #Courage to reflect.
What does that mean? Well, let’s look at some synonyms; mull over, cogitate, ponder, contemplate, muse and meditate are a few. Whatever your word(s) may be, your method of reflection must be honest, true, courageous and filled with positive intent!

Why oh why is this so hard? We look at educators everyday that still use the same methods as five, ten, even TWENTY years ago! Worksheets, desks in rows, gobs of homework, Lack of choice in reading, AR only, technology as a word processor, quiet lines, no deviation or change in the schedule, lecturing in front of class, demanding compliance! What is this? I challenge you to be #Courageous and take the #Reflection leap! We must take a break from our egos and look at the individual moves we make every day. Our life of chess must be made up of flexibility!

Dig deep my friends, and take one step at a time. Maybe try to use kinder words, or a tone to a conversation. Perhaps have positive intentions prior to a sticky situation. Do you need to walk away prior to acting, or reacting? Is your solution best for you, a child, a teacher, or a parent? Is there a pattern of how you react, depending on the time of day, or your state of hunger? Did you take care of your own mental and health needs with a walk; workout; meal; hydration? Have you really tried to connect to each kiddo and understand what he/she needs?

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do strive to be better each day. My reflections can be ego-bruising and harsh, but my only solace is that I will learn and grow each time I take the #Courage to jump in with both feet. In my case it’s all about kids. Is it best for them or me? When I challenge a teacher to try something different, I certainly don’t do it for myself, I do it for the 806 students I see every day; eager to please; wanting to learn; trying to improve; champing at the bit of excellence. See them in your reflective practice. Every last one of them.

It won’t be easy, but change and growth never are. Let’s do this together. With the #Courage to try, I truly believe you can be a mirror of excellence my friends!