Reflection, By Sarah Rines, Science Department Chair
“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” -Confucius
The word reflection has multiple meanings. In a science context, we think of reflection as the bouncing of light off a surface. Yet another definition of reflection is serious thought or consideration.
At this point in the school year, there is a lot that parents, students, and teachers can reflect upon. Let us all think back to first day of school when students came with new backpacks and lunch bags, new hopes and dreams, and new classes and teachers. In the six months that have passed, great changes have taken place. Students have grown academically, socially, and physically.
There is great value in taking the time to sit and reflect on change and taking the opportunity to ask ourselves, and our children, questions to make the process of reflection an enlightening and educational one. From the young to the old, all can benefit from self-reflection. In the preschool years students might not be ready for self-reflection, but we can prompt them with questions that promote reflective thought and conversation. As children get older, it is important teach them, and model for them what it means to reflect.
Some questions you could pose to your child(ren) to encourage reflection in the areas of academics, social issues, sports, etc. are:
- Was there another way to approach that problem?
- If you had to do that again, would you do it the same way?
- What did you learn while doing this?
This time of year is the time when I encourage my students to reflect on their year so far. We had the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair this week and I reflected back on the growth my students have made since we began our adventure together in August. Seeing every eighth grade student bring a science fair project to completion is a joyous event. When some of them have the opportunity to continue to compete at the county, and – potentially – state level, it is like the icing on a cake – a sweet reward for all! Reflecting back on the process and realizing that each student pursued their passion and learned about themselves, their content areas, and their community continues to prove to me that our students have potential beyond our wildest dreams.
In the coming weeks, I hope that each and every one of you will take the time to reflect on the growth of your child(ren) and of yourselves this school year, and continue to seek positive opportunities in your futures.
Sarah Rines, Science Department Chair