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Teaching Daily Journaling to Encourage Self Reflection

Time can seem to fly by for students, and it may often feel like they need to do more to reach their goals. As their teacher, you have a solution for them that helps put things into perspective.

Journaling helps students realize life and their problems are not too difficult to manage with the aid of others and time. Journaling helps with self-reflection and can highlight accomplishments in our daily life. Creating a journaling schedule can also help organize worthwhile goals for the future. Teaching such a task will aid students now and in the future.

How Journaling Helps with Self-Reflection

By setting time aside to journal, teachers and learners have an in-depth moment with the subject they are writing about. They get to reflect and write on a subject with no limitations and, by doing so, end up with a good track record of the constant progress made. One of the most valuable parts of journaling is honest personal feedback.

Importance of Journaling and Self-Reflection

Improves Recall

Journaling helps collect, record, and properly analyze information. In our world, and more so due to the internet and numerous books, there is much information. Students often think they can retain the information they get from various sources, only to realize they need to remember a lot of fine details. Journaling can give students time to reflect on the learned content and find ways to relate it to their lives. Wholesomely, journaling helps transform students from passive readers to active readers.

Makes Goals Achievable

Journaling helps to nurture dreams and ideas and cultivate them into reality. Once something is penned down, it starts its journey toward being realized. Every time it is reflected on, it improves and develops. In your class, students spend daily/weekly time journaling and self-reflecting; the reflection makes them develop solid plans that they are passionate about.

Improves Problem Solving Skills

Since journaling helps keep track of things, it helps create a culture of problem-solving in students. Students become more invested in solving problems, and while doing so, they get an in-depth understanding of the subjects they take in school. Students also make many discoveries for themselves since they are more focused. It is a wonder how much can be accomplished when learners are intentional about learning.

Improves Self-Esteem and Worth

Journaling and self-reflection develop self-esteem in students. The habits create a sense of freedom in expressing one's thoughts and further a forum to correct and improve the thought process. These lead to high self-esteem in learners as they feel free to create, recreate, and improve.

Tips to Encourage Journaling and Self-Reflection in Your Classroom

Try the following ideas in your classroom:

  1. As a teacher, it is essential to nurture good habits of self-reflection. One way to encourage these habits is by giving a variety of topics to journal on and consequently reflect on. When options are available, students can select a topic they relate to. The idea is to build the habit, so whatever topic they choose is okay. Create a trusting relationship that you will not disclose or read your student's work (depending on your classroom journaling goals).
  2. Teachers should give students guiding questions to help them decide on the topics given for writing. Guiding questions prompt the thinking process and encourage certain lines of thought. Teachers should ensure the questions are open-ended and eye-opening. The questions should trigger creative thinking, curiosity, and problem-solving skills.
  3. Another way to build up the journaling habit is by throwing out the rule book. Most of the writing done in schools is governed by rules and feels like an examination. Journaling is meant to nurture writing and the creative habit. Getting rid of the rules in the initial stages allows for the free flow of ideas and the ability to express oneself.
  4. The process should be consistent. Teachers should ensure that students continuously and consistently write in their journals. Journaling and self-reflection ensure that students keep track of their daily happenings and feelings. The new daily task helps create a web of events, some of which are questions and other solutions to existing problems.

Application of Daily Journaling and Self-Reflection

You can apply journaling and self-reflection in various subject matters. Journaling traits are applicable in sciences, daily reading, social studies, and even vocabulary building. If carried on after school, journaling and self-reflection help with life and problem-solving skills your student will face long after the bell rings. 

Written by Dennis K.
Education World Contributor
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