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john-dewey-quoteAs 2016 came to an end, my inbox was inundated with advice – things I should buy, resolve, change and appreciate. I’m sure yours was filled with similar items. The message behind all of these emails is the same; this is the time of year to reflect on the past and set goals for the year ahead.

Schools are places of continuous reflection. There is not a day that goes by on which questions aren’t pondered about what has gone well and what could be done better. Learning is a continual process, not a one-time-per-year event. It is ongoing. As another year begins there is much to consider. Children are entrusted to us. The goal is to educate them and send them off with the knowledge and skills needed to negotiate their world; a world that is continually changing. While some of the things I learned in school are quite relevant today, many are not. However, what I did learn is how to take ideas apart, to ask questions, to reflect on the information at hand and to add my findings to my already existing knowledge base.

Reflecting on our practice as educators allows us to move forward into the future that awaits the students in our classrooms. It also reminds us to honor those practices that will always be important. It causes us to question and search for answers. It is through reflection that we are able to create an environment for all learners to pursue their quest for understanding and to make sense of the world in which they live. Schools, in their best version of themselves, are working to help children learn. For it is in developing the skills needed to learn that one is able to go out and successfully negotiate the world.