When June hits it tends to spread its arms wide open inviting closure, reflection, and renewal in a unique way. Despite this year feeling quite different, we can make the choice to still end on a high note! Building a reflective stance takes time, experiences, and chances to engage in it. When those chances do come along, we also then need to make a choice as to how we might learn from them.
From a more personal place, I am in a special time in my life where I am patiently (or not so patiently!) waiting for the arrival of my second child. A big life moment that will for sure be a memorable one, but what I have also come to understand throughout these past few months, was that life occurs between the big moments too. In fact, a lot of what we need and what we can learn from are in those small moments.
When we are looking to use reflection as a powerful way to propel us forward in meaningful ways we must lean into some important qualities; honesty, openness, and commitment come to mind. When we are honest with ourselves we are able to arrive at realizations that help us to grow and develop as learners and as people. Honesty also helps us to look closely without intent to criticize, but more of a way to accurately see where we are and where we want to go. In addition, having the willingness to be open to the answers or new understandings about ourselves can be daunting, however this is also a chance to push our vulnerability to new heights. Lastly, the idea that commitment is somewhat of a blinding pledge to ourselves can be an encouraging outlook to push towards new successes. This is where we challenge ourselves.
These are qualities we can share, discuss, and display with students as the year comes to a close. We then can help encourage learners to pinpoint their own valuable lessons or big takeaways from their experiences, so that they too can wrap up their year in a reflective way. Below are a few suggestions:
We must participate in those quiet conversations with ourselves and open our arms up to the discoveries we find when we do. As a way to close out my year, I am choosing to distinguish and share 3 valuable realizations that grew from these unique past few months:
These are my big takeaways & confirmations:
My relationships with others are most important to me; spend time caring for them.
Appreciate time; linger in small moments.
Choose joy; make happiness a choice.
Relationships, appreciation, and happiness can indeed be our biggest teachers!