Reflection in the Mud Puddle

Jennifer McDougall
2 min readJun 12, 2020

(Writing Challenge: Reflection)

Photo by mscoralrose

Especially as educators we recognize how critical reflection is to success. When we consider how and why we have done something and its successes and failures we allow ourselves to make that something even better in the future. As professionals we practise reflection. We model it. We train and encourage our students to habitually incorporate this skill into their work and lives.

What we often miss, however, is considering how reflection occurs with a variety set of tools. Here’s what I mean. Unless we are using a spotted and distorted mirror attached to our great grandparent’s wash stand, a clear and distinct reflection stares back at us from the mirror. What happens when we look into the side of our vehicle? We are the same person and yet we appear as a more wobbled version of ourselves. And, just before you splashed into an inviting mud puddle, have you ever peered down into it? Or the back of a metal spoon? We don’t look like the same person in those as the one staring back from the bathroom mirror, do we?

What tools are we using in reflecting on ourselves? Blaz Koz explains that we have an actual self, an ideal self, and an ought self and that we need to reflect realistically. I think about it in even simpler terms: asking yourself questions while considering that the answers might uncover a predisposition to an unrealistic and sometimes negative reflection. Does my 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and the fact that I’m only staying awake because my travel mug is secretly filled with Red Bull, really place me in the right frame of mind? When did I last eat? Is the rage towards the parent who hasn’t returned my calls all year and is now informing me, despite the fact that I have brought lunch for their child every day and spent half of my recesses working with them, that I didn’t do enough for their child, still simmering Mount Vesuvius style?

What tools are we using to reflect? Are we reflecting in a mirror or a mud puddle?

Blaz Kos discusses tools for self reflection here. (Although they are meant for personal, situational self reflection they could be used professionally.)

Blaz Kos discusses Cognitive Distortions here:



Jennifer McDougall

Attempting Serious and Satire... Sometimes successful. Editor, Doctor Funny.