Mid-semester is a good time to take to take a few quiet moments to reflect on how your courses are going and to set some intentions for the second half of the term. At this point, you’ve probably figured out that many of your intentions to be more interesting, more innovative, more attentive to student engagement and learning have, sadly, fallen prey to the Almighty To Do List.
At the Reinert Center, we challenge you to find 5 quiet minutes to reflect on how things are going in your classes and to set some priorities for the remaining weeks of the semester. Here are a few questions to get you started:
Engagement: When have you been most engaged this semester in your class? When have your students seemed most engaged? What did you do to create this environment of engagement? Are there specific choices you made that yielded this engagement? If so, what were they?
Learning: If you look back at your course objectives, how many of them have students achieved at this point? Are they progressing in the ways you expected? If not, what might you do in the second half of the semester to facilitate deeper learning?
Action: As you reflect on the first half of the semester, what do you want to do more of in your class going forward? What do you want to do less of? Identify one specific thing you will do differently in the second half of the semester.
Thanks to St. Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises offer an excellent model for reflection that translates into action. At this critical moment in the semester, you have many choices yet to make about where your students are headed. Hopefully, the reflection questions above will spur your thinking and re-energize you for the home stretch. If dialogue with others can help, please don’t hesitate to come see us.