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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Pendrey

End the Year with a Rainbow

You may not be fortunate enough to be jetting off to a beach over the summer, or indeed be closing your doors to children if you work in the private sector. However, the summer does seem a good time to organically reflect upon the previous year, to take stock of your wins and the challenges, and the highs and the lows of the previous year.

Brookfield’s reflective theory would encourage you to reflect using four lenses.

These four lenses are your self-lens, your colleagues’ lens, the child’s or student’s lens, and the literature lens.

Brookfield (1995) suggests that as practitioners we need to reflect using all four lenses. His work highlights the importance of practitioners being critically reflective and goes on to say that if you lack critical reflection, this is apathy. Apathy is a state of indifference, a lack of interest or disengagement. Moreover, Brookfield (1995) suggests that, if you are not critically reflective, you will be blown about by the winds of cultural and pedagogic preference. This means that as a practitioner, you will continue to live in the present as a prisoner of your past. So, how about taking some time to reflect upon the past, the here and now, and reflect forward using your self-lens.

In this short blog, you will explore how to reflect using your self-lens. (You will explore the other lens in later blogs).

So, your self-lens. What is this?

Your self-lens is your autobiography, your story, and your lived experiences. Imagine if you like it’s a just one chapter of the book of your year.

As a freelance consultant and guest lecturer, I possibly use my self-lens the most, as I have no peers, colleagues, or institution. I take time each week to journal and capture my self-reflections and align them to my Rainbow Educator concept from My Little Book of Reflective Practice.

The Rainbow Educator headings of:



Your Inner Strength


Be Compassionate


are all aligned to the colours of the rainbow.

Take time to contemplate and reflect upon the Rainbow Educator’s key components. Scribe all the moments you have showed resilience, been objective, used your inner strength, needed guidance, been compassionate, and versatile. Trust me, there will be a lot and many you may have forgotten. Grab a journal and capture your reflections.

This self-reflection exercise is an opportunity for you to take stock and consider your needs. It is also a chance to reflect upon your gifts and experiences.

Why not use my Rainbow Educator Journal Template as a starting point for self-reflection?

Blow away the winds of apathy, look up to the sun and if it rains a little too, you will see a rainbow.

Scribe and follow #ReflectConnect so you don’t miss out on my next blog.

Thank you for reading.


Brookfield, S. (1995) Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey‐Bass

Pendrey, A. (2020) The Little Book of Reflective Practice. Oxon: Routledge

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