8 Chapter 1
Think about Deb’s Reflections
Deb’s reflections about her observations of Jacob’s actions help her to take his
play seriously. She notes her own reactions: delight in Jacob’s lively imagination
and concern about safety. If she didn’t reflect on the larger significance of this
play, she might stop it because of her discomfort. Her descriptions show how she
continues to think through her goals and values, attending to children’s safety
while appreciating and supporting these energetic and valuable activities. She is
eager to ask Jacob’s family’s to tell her what they have seen him do at home and
how they handle it. The information they provide will expand her understanding
of Jacob and lead to meaningful two-way information sharing between home
Characteristics of Reflective Teaching
What sets reflective teachers apart from other teachers? What characteristics do
they display? Six basic characteristics are shared by teachers who practice reflec-
1. Reflective teachers ask themselves questions.
2. Reflective teachers consider children’s perspectives.
3. Reflective teachers are eager to gain more perspectives.
4. Reflective teachers look for details.
5. Reflective teachers examine the environment.
6. Reflective teachers are fully engaged in their work.
Reflective Teachers Ask Themselves Questions
As you read in Deb’s story and her thoughts about Jacob, the heart of reflective
teaching is taking time to think and respond rather than reacting without larger
considerations. Reflective teachers ask themselves questions, first to reflect on
their own responses to any situation and then to consider what from their own
experiences and beliefs might be influencing their responses. Before reacting
from this personal place, they consider whether their point of view will sup-
port or detract from the children’s experience. Reflective teachers are willing to
examine themselves, and they have a clear sense of what they value and the role
they play in children’s lives.