How often do you invite the writers you support to reflect, and for what purposes?
In my experience, it’s common for teachers to place reflective work at the end of the process, when drafts are complete. It makes sense to ask writers to look back at their work and their processes in order to define critical learning moments and set new goals.
This is a great way to help writers develop a relationship with reflection, but deepening that relationship is a critical next step.
Writing well isn’t something we do for school, after all.
It’s a very human, very intimate act that enables us to be seen in ways that no other form does. We write to clarify our thinking, so that we might share it with others who will benefit from it. We write to clarify our problems, so that we might solve them. We write to clarify our stories, in order to pass them down. We write to bring others comfort, company, and laughter. We write to raise our voices. We write to take a stand. We write to bring people peace. We also write in order to become more self-aware.
Reflection fuels real writing.
Without it, writers are just doing school.
Teachers often tell me that making time for reflection is a challenge. I typically start and end my workshops with quick reflective prompts, even when I’m coaching in classrooms. Reflection makes for meaningful homework as well, though.
Don’t know where to begin?
The prompts below might help you. The first set is for primary and intermediate writers. The second set is best for older writers with a bit more experience. I’ve used prompts from both sets with opposite groups at different times, though. Feel free to download and share.