by Terry Heick
Reflection prompts are usually for students so reflection prompts for teachers aren’t something you see every day.
The big idea is simple enough: Reflection leads to growth–well, accurate, well-framed, and intentional reflection can lead to growth. Thus these prompts.
Just as metacognitive prompts help students reflect on the process of learning, the following prompts can help teachers reflect on the full picture of being an educator–many through the lens of hope and gratitude.
5 Ways of Using Reflection Prompts to Discuss Teacher Well-being
1. Group discussion
2. Personal journaling
3. Social media conversations
4. Formal or informal professional development sessions
5. Simple ‘thinking prompts’ for the drive to school or the way home
Here are 30 reflection prompts for teachers to use as reflective tools for growth.
Teaching Through An Attitude Of Gratitude: 30 Prompts For Reflection
1. In your mind, what are the best parts of being a teacher?
2. What is one small delight in the day that you look forward to?
3. What are you most proud of to date in your teaching career?
4. What part of teaching is better than you thought it would be?
5. How have you grown as a person since becoming a teacher?
6. What was the nicest thing a student or colleague has ever done for you?
7. What are your strengths as a teacher? Which are you most grateful for?
9. What new learning has inspired you in your teaching?
10. Write about a memorable moment in the classroom. What stood out the most and why?
11 What was your mindset when you became a teacher? What is it now? How has it changed and why?
12. What have you found to be vital to make teaching both sustainable and enjoyable for you?
13. If nothing else, what is one thing you want your students to take from their time with you?
14. What does your support system look like (both in the school building and beyond)?
15. What natural personality traits of yours are most useful for you as an educator?
16. What tech tools do you find the most useful? Why? How have they changed what you do?
17. What is the most powerful aspect of being a connected educator? What are you grateful for?
18. One thing that is different from a year ago that I am grateful for is…
19. In your content area, what’s most important that students know for the next 40 days? 40 months? 40 years?
20. What do you appreciate about your colleagues? How do you support one another?
21. Tell someone you know how grateful you are for the work they do. How did that conversation go?
22. What advice would you give would-be teachers? First-year teachers? To yourself as a first-year teacher?
23. What’s the best part of teaching? What ‘part’ do you dislike that maybe isn’t as bad as you see it as?
24. What traditions exist in your school or local community that you are most grateful for?
25. What are your dreams for education in the future? What role do you hope to play in that future?
26. What pedagogical practice (or ‘part’ of teaching) would you like to let go of? That no longer serves you or could be better done in other ways?
27. What’s the most important ‘thing’ you’ve ever done as a teacher? What makes it the most important thing?
28. If you could bottle up the perfect day as a teacher, what would it look like?
29. Talk about one thing you used to ‘want’ as a teacher that you now see as less important?
30. Within your teaching, what can you automate? Delegate? Priortize? De-prioritize? Rethink? Improve?
Name a book about teaching that you are thankful to have read and how it has inspired you to be better at what you do.
Talk about one opportunity as an education professional that you are grateful in hindsight for having passed you by.
We all know someone who inspires us to be better. Share that person and explain how they inspire you and why you feel so strongly about them.
Practice an act of kindness this week and blog about your experience.