Reflection is important to any teacher. We need to take a look back at all we have done -- the good, the bad, and (most importantly) the ugly -- and see where it will take us in the coming days weeks and months. I have found many mediums for reflection. These are a few of my favorite.
Once I got into the groove of things, writing my ideas out seemed to be fairly easy. I never preplan a topic for the week, I just sit down and start writing about something I have done or thought about during the week. Now, I have my own archive of thoughts and lesson ideas all stored in one place. I also post my entries to Twitter for others to read at their leisure, if they choose. My writing is more for me to get my thoughts out, but if someone can take something away from one of my entries, then I am happy to help.
I would encourage anyone to start blogging (or the more primitive, journal writing) as a way to reflect on their daily education journey.
I like to take two days a week (Monday for #COLchat/#michASCD and Thursday for #mschat and #sstlap) to "meet up" with my PLN to reflect on the topic of conversation for that evening. Interacting with other educators from around the world about the things taking place in our classrooms and how to better impact learning for our students is refreshing. Sometimes we can be bogged down by our daily grind. It is always nice to hear others having the same struggles and providing insight into how they overcame those challenges.
For more information on how to become more active on Twitter, see the archives.
3. My Accountability Partners (or Accountabilibuddies, as we refer to one another)
In my life, I have two accountability partners: my mentor teacher and a teacher whose first day was around the same as mine. These are two people with whom I have been able to build a strong professional and personal relationship with. We meet at least once a month on a Friday or Saturday night for dinner and a beverage and just talk. We talk about things we have done in our classrooms, things that are bothering us professionally, education news, and many, many other topics.
This reflection time is some of the most valuable time I have as a professional. Without it, I may have lost sight of my WHY in education. My accountabilibuddes are the rock that keep me grounded and without them, I am not sure which direction my professional career may have gone in.