One of my favorite books is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. And from it, the most memorable piece of wisdom was this– “The best gift an educator can give is to get their students to be self-reflective.”
I’d previously thought that the best gift an educator could give was to teach a child to think. But, Pausch made me reconsider. And now I agree with his statement.
I think about this a lot.
It’s what I want for my kids — to be reflective.
It’s true that the most successful people in this world know their strengths and their weaknesses. Likewise, the most successful students also know their strengths and weaknesses. They will leave a test and say, I know I got 4,5 and 6 correct but question 3 I’m not sure about.
Conversely, ask a poor student who isn’t reflective how he or she did on a test and you’d probably hear, “I don’t know.” Which would be true. They don’t know and haven’t learned how to be reflective.
This summer I’m helping my girls take time to set goals and be reflective.
Today we started simply with these goal setting statements.
Now I can . . .
Then we set simple goals for the future.
I want to . . .
Throughout the next few weeks, it is my job to ask guiding questions about their journey in meeting their goal. This will help them become reflective.
“How do you feel you’re doing in meeting your goal?”
“What’s going well?”
“What do you need help with?”
Finally, each child will feel accomplishment when she reaches her goal. Talk about building efficacy! I can set a goal and I can achieve it. Yeah!
What about your family?
How do you set goals and encourage reflection?