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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Reflect on Your Social, Emotional, and Character Development Work this Past School Year

Maurice Elias

Professor, Rutgers University Psychology Department and Edutopia Blogger

Many of us working with social, emotional, and character development (SECD) make time for student reflections. But we don't always make time for our own reflections, and we should.

Below is a format I wanted to share with you all. It was used with SECD teams, coordinators, teachers, and other individual implementers and allows for one to reflect on his/her past year, and start planning for next year:

Feel free to share your reflections and/or plans with others here, and perhaps in return, you will get some ideas that you can use in the fall.

Maurice Elias

Professor, Rutgers University Psychology Department and Edutopia Blogger
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Kristy's picture
1st grade teacher from Woodstock, Georgia

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on SECD and reflection. I have recently started my masters program on line and we have been reading and watching videos on both these areas. I have been especially interested in the area of reflection. I have learned it is not only important to reflect on your professional life but your personal life as well. I am going to strive to reflect daily on the main events both good and bad. I must be willing to be brutally honest about my part in the events. I need to ask what I did to cause these events or what I could do to change the negative issues in the future. I have also realized the importance of collaboration and learning communities. By talking with other educators, we can not only feel comfort in a profession that is often lonely, but get strategies and ideas from others. Lastly, I have found the importance of student reflection. Students need to be taught the skills to reflect on their day as well. Journaling their thoughts, feelings, or by drawing pictures are great examples.
Our school has a character education program in place that is aligned with our bullying prevention program. Teacher introduce new character words each week and give students time to talk about issues. We watch movies, read books, play games, and/or act out scenarios related to each word.
Through positive social, emotional, and character education I can educate students to become great members of society. By reflecting and using colleagues and support groups, I can keep myself from the teacher disease of burning out.
As I enter the new school year with new knowledge on these issues I have hope for a better year. I will keep you updated on how reflecting has increase mine and my students success.
Thank you for bringing this topic forward. I hope others will respond as well and share their insight.
Kristy Gibbs

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