REFLECTIVE SUMMARY DIRECTIONS
(INTASC Principles in parentheses)
A Reflective Summary is NOT A JOURNAL. It does not ramble on and on vaguely
describing random experiences but rather addresses specific topics with a clear focus and
purpose. A Reflective Summary does NOT include every detail that takes place each day.
HIGHLIGHTS AND SIGNIFICANT LEARING EXPERIENCES should be focused on rather
than long lists without explanations. Large amounts of time should not be spent describing
things that your supervisor can actually see in your classroom.
When you are done writing your Reflective Summary, you should feel satisfied that your
supervisor and cooperating teacher know everything that you want them to know about
your experience at a specific point in time. Because your university supervisor will only visit
your classroom once a week, the Reflective Summary becomes an important communication
tool that should carefully cover areas in which the university supervisor will be required to
evaluate you. The cooperating teacher will also benefit from this written communication
because he or she will be able to see the insightfulness with which you are able to evaluate
your teaching and students and also learn about feelings that you may find difficult to
express in words.
Correct spelling and grammar are required. The use of slang expressions should be avoided.
When slang expressions are used, they should be put inside of quotation marks. Reflective
summaries should be proofread and examples of your best work. They will not only be used
to help your teacher and supervisor determine your teaching abilities and efforts but also to
determine your writing ability as well as your ability to present yourself professionally
through written communication. Reflective Summaries must be double-spaced and typed.
Every reflective summary (except the last one), must include ALL of the following
Every reflective summary (except the last one) must be divided into sections that begin with
the following headings:
What I have accomplished:
Describes accomplished tasks not future plans.
Informs about the learning experiences that have taken place during the time since the
last summary was written and describes relevant information about those experiences in
1. How subject matter was made meaningful.(#1)
2. How the developmental levels of the learners influenced instruction.(#2)
3. How different types of learners and their needs were provided for. (#3)
4. How a variety of instructional strategies were used. (#4)
5. How different communication techniques were used. (#6)
6. How instruction was based on knowledge of students, subject matter, the
community, and curriculum goals. (#7)
Communicates how relationships were fostered with students, parents, colleagues, and
the larger community.(#10)
Relates how opportunities to grow professionally were sought.(#9)
***Please note, it is not expected that all of these topics will be written about at any one
time. Rather, throughout the semester, when applicable, different topics should be featured
in order to give the readers insights into the student teacher’s knowledge and teaching
What I Have learned: (about myself as a teacher, my students, and any other school
Shows continuous evaluation of the effects of one’s choices and actions on others
(students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) (#9)
Includes at appropriate times:
1. Things you are noticing about the growth in your teaching. (#9)
2. How you see your abilities changing.(#9)
3. How you are overcoming problems. (#9)
4. Evidence that you are analyzing your teaching techniques and strategies to perfect
your teaching skills. (#9)
Displays a growing knowledge of how children learn and develop. (#2)
Relates an understanding of how students differ in their approaches to learning and
Provides examples of the use of individual and group motivation and behavior to create
learning environments that encourage positive interaction, active engagement in
learning, and self-motivation. (#5)
Describes instructional planning based on knowledge of students and their interests as
well as needs. (#7)
Gives examples of formal and informal assessment strategies used to evaluate and
ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner. (#8)
Proof of my effort:
Lists specific things that were done that show how much time and effort is being put into
the student teaching experience. These may include such things as: describing bulletin
boards and learning centers that were made, ways in which preprogrammed lessons
were enhanced, materials that were made and/or brought into the classroom, outside
involvement in school related activities, advice that was received from others and
applied, guest speakers or field trips that were planned for, units that were designed and
My biggest success:
Describes the one thing that you are most proud of doing or accomplishing since writing
the previous summary and the reason why you feel this is your biggest success. (#9)
What I will change to improve classroom instruction:
Focuses on a change that can actually take place and be accomplished by you(#9)
Focuses on an instructional change. (#9)
One goal for next week and my future goals:
Must focus on a goal that relates to the students, improving instruction, communication,
classroom management, and/or professional growth. (#9)
The Reflective Summary should address how well the goal for the previous week(s) has
You may add categories to your Reflective Summary if an additional category is needed for
an appropriate topic.
SPECIAL TOPIC REFLECTIVE SUMMARIES
These are summaries that focus exclusively on designated topics.
1. My Classroom Management and Organization Using the required, Reflective
Summary categories, the student teacher will focus on the areas of classroom
management and organization. Using the Benchmark Evaluation Form, the student
teacher must go through the categories listed under “Classroom Management and
Organization” and describe with one or two examples the types of things s/he is
doing in these categories. If examples are numerous in a category, the student
teacher may provide them in a bulleted list format as long as the items on the list
are complete enough that the reader can understand why they were included. The
student teacher should use the “Benchmark and Final Evaluation Guide” to make
sure that each category on the evaluation form is understood before writing this
2. Evaluation Using the required categories, this summary focuses on the topic of
“Evaluation.” Using the Benchmark Evaluation Form, the student teacher must go
through the categories listed under “Evaluation” and describe with examples the
types of things he or she is doing in these categories. If examples are numerous in a
category, the student teacher may provide them in a bulleted list format as long as
the items on the list are complete enough that the reader can understand why they
were included. The student teacher should use the “Benchmark and Final Evaluation
Guide” to make sure that each category on the evaluation form is understood before
writing this summary.
3. The Final Reflective Summary will contain two parts and reflect back over the
entire student teaching experience.
a. Part one is a “Top 3 List.” This list should be written as if in response to an
interviewer who asks the student teacher to describe the three things that he
or she is most proud of doing or accomplishing during the practicum student
teaching experience. The student teacher must list these three things and
describe them in detail using specific examples. The list should be ordered
from least important to most important. (i.e. 3,2,1) The list may either be
written in a narrative or bulleted format. (See complete directions)
b. Part two is entitled “What I Have Learned,” and summarizes what has been
learned about oneself as a teacher, one’s students, and other school related
topics that will be useful to the student teacher in the future. This summary
may be written as a bulleted list with learned concepts succinctly described.
This format is ideal for inclusion in the student teacher’s showcase portfolio.
Reflective Summaries are due as specified on the Assignment Due Date Calendar.
Individual university supervisors will determine where, on what day, and how Reflective
Summaries will be turned into them.
When deemed necessary, university supervisors will use the Reflective Summary Rubric to
evaluate summaries. Student teachers should look at the Reflective Summary Rubric
before writing the first summary.
ALL REFLECTIVE SUMMARIES MUST BE SIGNED BY THE COOPERATING TEACHER to
confirm content validity. Encourage your cooperating teacher to add written comments so
that you and the university supervisor may benefit from this feedback.
The ideas you write about don’t have to be your original ideas. If you helped prepare or
prepared for something, planned or helped plan for something, carried out or helped carry
out an idea, you may write about it in your summary.
For confidentiality reasons, please identify your students by their first names only.
IT IS BETTER TO TURN SUMMARIES IN EARLY RATHER THAN LATE.
Please view examples in packet.