Let's play a game: I say a word, you give me a definition.

Reflection.... What does this word mean to you?

When you think of the word reflection, what image does it trigger in your mind?  When your teachers or professors ask you to "reflect" on something, do you ever really stop and think about what that really means?  Do  you "preflect" on what your reflection is going to look like, sound like, and feel like?  Not as easy as it sounded right?

In just about 13 days our student service learners will be embarking on their journey to Belize to host a summer camp for children that are kindergartners through fifth graders.  This is no small feat.  For weeks we have been creating curriculum, thinking of activities, thinking about what our trip is going to look and feel like, and thinking about how excited we are to be going.  However, on July 10th during our pre-trip meeting they will be given an assignment.  Their assignment will be to preflect on what this journey means to them right now and what they think this journey is going to mean to them during the time that they are there and then after they come back.  This won't be done by writing a paper.  This will be done through some critical thinking and discussion and some preflection exercises I have prepared for them.  

So, think of something you will be doing soon that is of significance to you.  It may be a job interview.  It may be meeting your boyfriend's parents or maybe him meeting yours.  It may be trying to get a promotion at the job you already have or possibly getting into a program at school that is important to you.  Try this exercise about a week or so before you do it.  It may be a little out of your comfort zone, you may actually feel silly doing it.  But after you do it a few times I promise you will start to see the difference in how you are experiencing the experience!  

1. Find a mirror

Yes.  That's right go look in a mirror.  That in and of itself is the first step to REFLECTION and guess what..... you will be staring at your reflection!!  Stand in front of the mirror and pretend your reflection is the situation/person you will be facing soon.

2. Role Play

It may feel silly or weird but act out the scene you see playing out in your head with your reflection being the other actor in the scene.  Once you start doing it you will get used to the conversation happening and it will start to feel as natural as having a conversation with another person.  Act out the situation out loud and in person.  Be sure to throw in any problems or hurdles you see getting in your way.  When you get to these problems or hurdles work out with your "partner" (in the mirror) how you can best solve this situation.

3. Think about it

Take a few minutes to jot down on a piece of paper or on your ipad or computer how you felt about doing the role play, how you felt about how you portrayed the situation and then how you felt about how you handled the situation.  Jotting it down will let you come back to it and reflect more when you are going through the actual situation.  

 

Next week I will give you guys some exercises that will add to these exercises for the "during" reflection.  

Good honest amazing awesome reflection is a four part process.  It's the pre, the during, the post, and the revisit.  It's how you get the most out of any learning experience and it doesn't always mean you have to write a paper or do some boring assignment.  It can actually be a great deal of fun!  

Have a great week and be sure to tune in next week for the "during" part of the reflection process fun exercises.  Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

It's been fun chatting,  

Until next time,

~~Jennifer