Reflecting may sound abstract, but it helps to see the big picture.  (Photo credit: Mr. Greenjeans)

I know what you must be thinking: Is this a reflection on my reflections? Even I didn’t think that level of cognitive self-evaluation was actually possible until … well, until I reflected on it. But as much as I may harp on how many times Teach For America uses the term “reflect” in a single day, I also realize that there’s power to honest reflection.

And not just the kind of power that moves you emotionally, but the kind of power that helps you do your job that much better.

Unfortunately, the first time I realized this was during my second year, in the midst of preparing for the first state-exam and was knee high in paperwork from my school, when I was awarded the opportunity to partake in the Sue Lehmann Award process.  I had hoped this would have happened a bit closer to June—you know, when classroom parties, field trips, and the allure of summer seem to make everyone at your school that much happier. But alas, the Sue Lehmann process arrived just in time for state-testing, Spring Break, and a roster of students with their hormones in full swing.

There was a lot of reflection involved in the Sue Lehmann process. How much reflection? I was one pair of white gloves, some black shoes and white socks away from changing my name to “man in the mirror.”

However, if I had only realized the potential this reflection could have on how I was currently working sooner, it would have made a huge difference.