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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall: 5 Reflection Questions

In this blog post we explore some honest reflection with 5 questions about the last school year and how we can use that to better the next one.

As we wave goodbye to another school year (and perhaps breathe a small sigh of relief), it’s a perfect time for educational leaders to take a step back and reflect. Reflection isn’t just about replaying the year’s highlights reel in your mind; it’s about digging a little deeper to uncover what really made a difference and where we might need a little tune-up.

Let’s dive into the top five questions to ponder over your favorite summer beverage:

1. What were our biggest successes and how did we achieve them?

First things first, let's celebrate! Think back on the high points of the year:

  • Which initiatives turned out to be real game-changers for student learning and engagement?

  • How did our superhero team of educators pull together to make these successes happen?

  • What secret sauce (strategies or resources) contributed to these wins?

Reflecting on our victories isn’t just about giving ourselves a pat on the back—though we deserve it! It’s about understanding what worked so we can keep that momentum rolling.

2. Where did we face the most significant challenges and what were the underlying causes?

Of course, every superhero faces their kryptonite. Consider the bumps in the road:

  • Which areas didn’t quite hit the mark this year?

  • What sneaky obstacles or issues were behind these challenges?

  • How did we try to tackle these problems, and what can we learn from our valiant efforts?

Peeling back the layers on these issues helps us figure out how to dodge those bullets next time.

3. How did we support and develop our teachers and staff?

Our teachers and staff are the heart and soul of our schools. Reflect on their journey:

  • What professional learning opportunities did we offer, and were they as effective as we hoped?

  • How did we create a positive and supportive work environment? 

  • What feedback did we receive from our team, and how did it help us understand their needs better?

Keeping our educators happy and motivated is like watering the roots of a tree—it's essential for growth.

4. In what ways did we engage and involve our students and their families?

Education is a team sport, and our students’ families are key players. Think about:

  • How did we bring parents and families into the educational fold?

  • Which events or initiatives were the biggest hits in building strong home-school connections?

  • How did we make sure our students felt heard and involved in their learning journey?

Stronger partnerships with families can turn a good school community into a great one.

5. How did we measure and track progress towards our goals?

Goals are like the North Star, guiding our journey. Reflect on:

  • What were our big dreams for the year, and how did we track our progress?

  • Were our assessment methods effective, or did they need a bit more pizzazz?

  • What tweaks can we make to our goal-setting and tracking processes for the next school year?

Fine-tuning these elements ensures we’re always moving in the right direction.

Your Turn:

Reflection is like the mirror in Snow White: it tells us not just who’s the fairest, but also where we can make some improvements. By pondering these questions, we can uncover insights that will help us create even better educational experiences next year.

What other questions should educational leaders be asking themselves? Find me on Social Media (@MrCoachEli on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter/X or Elias Casaus on LinkedIn) and share your thoughts —let’s learn and grow together!

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