1. John Phillips

    How many of us really enjoy that first 30 minutes when we get home at the end of a long day and just want to do something quietly ??? I know I love it. After a busy – and loud – day it’s nice to have some quiet time. Frequently we (HS administrators) build Professional Development Days with non-stop presentations and activities that prevent a teacher from having any time to reflect and process any of the information covered because ‘there’s more coming in the next 15 minutes!’
    I try to remember something a former coach shared with me about Coaching Clinics. “If you can take one thing back to school and implement it with your team/class then the day was a success!” Perhaps we need to remember that sometimes less is more……for our students and for our teaching staff.
    Thanks for your posts George.

  2. George you continue to impress, enlighten , and educate me in the area of leadership. As a second year VP I look to your posts for advice and knowledge regularly. This post is another that had me thinking. Time for reflection is a necessary component in education but my worry comes around teacher mindset. I fear that some teachers may take advantage of this time as they are not of the mindset to see reflection as a part of their professional learning. Can you hold teachers accountable for using “reflection” time appropriately ?? Thoughts ???

    • George

      Great question Franco…one of the things that I would love to see is a professional blog for teachers where they share those reflections openly which would push their thoughts as well as our community. I wonder if you gave staff an hour to blog and embedded that time into our professional learning days, would they jump all over it?

      • Russell Munkler

        George, I think some definitely would. I believe that quiet time to reflect is important. I often do it during the drive home, or shopping in the grocery store. But I don’t reflect well through the writing process. I like your idea of embedding reflection time into professional learning days, provided teachers have the option of how they would like to reflect. Personally, I would most likely choose to take a walk and talk with a partner. For one reason or another, reflective pauses in conversation tend to be more socially acceptable during a walking conversation than a sitting one, especially if you are outdoors. As to Franco’s question about accountability, that is where the importance of relationships in leadership comes in. Asking those probing questions that cause teachers to hold themselves accountable without feeling judged.

  3. Excellent post, George. Too many of us undervalue the important role of introspective time in our lives, in large part due to a hyper-connected world that’s getting more so all the time. Educators have so much to pack into every day, but it’s important to carve out this crucial “quiet time,” too.

  4. Katherine Hayward

    As a parent, it is really important for me to take time every day, just to sit quietly (usually with a cup of tea) and reflect on the day that lies ahead or the day that was.
    It is during this time I map out the logistics and processes for the day, in caring for my children and enabling different experiences to happen – it could be simple activities at home, such as play dough, paper craft, stories/rhymes, or outdoor play; or visiting grandparents, a trip to the local library, swimming lessons or a Childcare day. Doing this enables me to feel comfortable and confident with a plan for the day, and when I feel this way it means my children are calm, and I can adapt well to the unpredictable and ever-changing dynamics.
    In the evenings, reflecting on the day, I think about the successes as well as the parts that didn’t run so smoothly, the behaviour of my children, and the techniques I employed to work with them. Doing this can enlighten me as to how I could change something for an improved outcome; or this can boost my confidence in my parenting because the children and I shared a really great day together.
    If it is important to have “quiet time” as a parent, to process what you’ve been learning about building relationships with and amongst your own children, to reflect on strategies used and where to seek further information or ideas, surely this is a vital practice for educators too?? And of course it can be seemingly impossible to build this extra time into our day on top of everything else, so certainly I would relish opportunities where schools factor in planned personal reflection time, where we needn’t be “always on”.
    Thank you for sharing this @gcouros!

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