I’ve created this word* to explain something I do that is critically important to me as a teacher (and as a parent, for that matter). Reflection is something I have written about recently as it is the topic of an upcoming conference presentation. However, to my mind reflection is something that is done after the fact. I reflect on lessons taught, interactions with students, responses to my daughters, and choices I make throughout the day. Reflection is immensely important and helps me continually grow as a teacher.
Preflection is something done before the event. It goes along with the idea of hesitation, about which I’ve also recently written. (Either I’m doing some serious thinking, all related or I’m in a rut.) Similar to reflecting, thinking through what I did or what happened and what it meant, preflection is reflecting ahead of making the choice.
It’s preflection that allows me to think through the possible responses I might give to a student and why certain ones might be better than others. Reflecting before I act, preflecting, helps me make smarter, more thoughtful choices.
I think, upon reflection, that it took me many years to develop the reflective nature I have now as a teacher and parent. Without that, I don’t think preflection would be a tool I can use. Reflecting, both after and before, is something that is very conscious for me now. That skill (or whatever it should be called) is one I don’t think I could live without now.
*Apparently this word is already out there meaning this and some other things, but I’m choosing to ignore that and continue to believe that I created it.