The following was written for the blog of the Whole Child Initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, where it went live today.  You can see the originalhere
As a teacher, I cannot imagine not reflecting as a regular part of my teaching practice.
Part of this is because as a shy person who was also an extravert, I had to think about how to interact with other people. I would even as a child take time to step back and reflect—What had I done and why? Had it achieve what I wanted? Why or why not? Was what I wanted an appropriate goal?
From this I began to learn that reflecting after the fact was insufficient: I needed to think about the "why" before I did an action, and to some degree I needed to be able to be metacognitive, that is, to be able to observe and reflect even as I was acting and speaking, to take in and process visual and auditory cues such as tone of voice and body language.
I was fortunate that, when relatively late in life I decided to become a school teacher, I wound up in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Johns Hopkins University which required that we reflect constantly, in all of our courses.  Recently I had occasion to clean out some of the accumulated boxes and folders of papers of a lifetime (I am now 67 and we were literally running out of space in our basement). Forty-year-old financial records are no longer necessary, nor are teaching materials more than ten years old. In the process I re-encountered many papers I had written in the MAT program, as well as all of the notebooks I have kept