By Margie Pearse, Guest Blogger
Inspirational speaker John Maxwell testifies that reflective thinking is the “Crock-Pot of the mind. It encourages thoughts to simmer until they’re done. Reflection takes a good experience and makes it a valuable experience.” (Maxwell, 2009, 73). I agree. Reflection is life’s greatest advocate designed to positively alter our thoughts, words, and actions.
Reflective thinking involves three components:
- Experiencing events over again in the mind and heart.
- Attaching emotions and thoughts to those events.
- Reexamining and reevaluating how we felt, thought, and behaved as a result of them.
As an author and presenter, I am often asked, “What role does silence play in reflection?”
“Silent and listen are spelled with the same letters.” We often think of these words as good advice for communicating and listening. I find them to be especially applicable in reflection. Without silence, we cannot identify and respond to the teachable moments in life. So often, however, we drown out that silence and fill it with clatter, distracting us from the hard truths we need to hear. Why are we avoiding silence? To be honest, it’s uncomfortable. With silence comes vulnerability, and at times even shame and guilt. And that scares us to death.
At times we can tolerate quiet by putting our phones on vibrate, lowering the music, etc. But we are still bound to life’s interferences with quiet. Quiet and silence are very different. Our mind and spirit react differently to silence. It is the only place where we can search and dwell in ideas enough to explore their true meaning. There is an untapped power in silence. It is where we gain ownership of our thoughts and actions. Silence is where we receive the decisive feedback we need to make reflecting beneficial.
Margie Pearse has over 30 years of teaching experience with certifications in mathematics, elementary education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance Systems (Certified Instructor - PQAS 2014). She is presently in higher education training pre-service teachers how to present learning that never ends.
Published Books: Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking (2011), Learning That Never Ends (2013), How to Pass the Pre-Service Mathematics Test for Teachers being released by Rowman & Littlefield, February 2015