6 Steps – Processing the Points of Impact

Impact: the strong effect or influence that something has on a situation or person

16As educators we are always being asked about the impact we are making in our schools and with our students. This is an important question because we have such a significant impact on both the school environment and the student experience. Regularly reflecting on ways that students are negatively and positively impacted by our attitudes, our words, and our interactions is important in creating a successful and thriving school environment.

If we could pause here for just a moment… I want to ask about you, the educator. How are you doing today? How are you feeling? How have your students’ attitudes, words, and interactions impacted you?

It is equally as important to check on how teachers are doing, as it is to check in about the students. Not only do teachers need to check in, but we need to make sure we are taking the time to process.

Today we are going to discuss why we should process and how to process.

Process: To deal with something according to a particular set of actions.

Here are some helpful steps for processing the points of impact along your teaching journey:

  1. Acknowledge the feeling.
  2. Acknowledge the trigger.
  3. Lean into the feeling and learn from it.
  4. Ask yourself questions – do you like this feeling? Is it negatively or positively impacting your person?
  5. Decide on appropriate responses – counseling, journaling, exercise.
  6. Release the feeling, retain the lesson.

As teachers we are emotionally connected to our students and the school environment. Throughout the school year there are things that happen to our students impacting their behavior and academic performance. These things also impact us as teachers.

There are both positive and negative points of impact. Look at the chart below. How do these events make you feel?

Positive Negative
College acceptance Illness
Sports achievement Death
New student Bullying
Acceptance to a performing arts or specialty school Fight

17Download the FREE Healthy Processing Packet and begin processing the points of impact you encounter year after year, day after day, class period after class period.

**Here is a teaser** Write down one significant point of impact. Next to it, write a corresponding feeling. Don’t think about it. Don’t try to be politically correct. How does the event make you feel?

Cheers! You have already begun healthy processing.

Is this the first time you have stopped to process?

If not, think about how you typically process these most significant points of impact.

If this is the first time, reflect on why you have not stopped to do this sooner.

In “Understanding Emotions and How to Process Them“, Dr. Gregg Henriques discusses the importance of awareness and attunement. To be aware is to recognize the existence of the feelings. What feelings are produced as a result of events happening in the school as a whole AND those produced by students’ attitudes, behavior, and interactions?

18Attunement describes a person’s awareness and receptivity level in conjunction with the reaction to awareness. So, now that you are aware of the feelings produced by various impacts, what is your response? Do you shove the feelings away? Do you discuss the feelings? Journal? Counseling? Talk to a teacher friend?

Your reaction can be the beginning of a healthy processing journey, or the beginning of an unhealthy compacting journey.

Download the FREE Healthy Processing Packet to begin your journey. We will dive a bit deeper in the next post.

FREE Resource Cover

Cheers to being our best selves!


Looking for a deep dive into purposeful reflection for both teachers and students? Check out the Intentional Teaching Series.



Student Reflection on Assignments

“Miiiiisssssss? Why do we need to do this?”

I hate to admit it, but I heard this question from students more times than I woud have liked.

Blog - Student ReflectionInstead of disregarding this question however, it made me think more deeply about my teaching practice. Why were my students completing a particular assignment?

Of course I knew the answer. I had spent time reflecting on the standards and carefully identifying the best way to teach my students to build on their foundation of knowledge. I spent time thinking about ways to make each assignment relevent to the students’ current lives and relevent for their futures.


So, why was the purpose of the assignment unclear to them?

I always had the focus standard identified on the front board. Student learning goals and objectives were clearly posted above the daily aganda. Yet, I still got the questions about purpose.

Before most assignments I would have students write the state standard into student friendly language and share with a partner. Yet, I still got the questions about purpose.

Something was getting lost in translation and it needed to be found.

Identifying a purpose for learning increases student engagement, the quality of work, and completion rate. Therefore, helping students understand the reason for learning is essential.

As teachers we spend a lot of time reflecting on the standards. We see the standards covered in the grade below and above ours. We have vertical alignment meetings. We also have the benefit of life on our hands. We can see how the dots are connected. We can see how learning and growth in certain areas contributed to later success.

So,I decided to add a destinctive reflection component for my students.

For each unit of study I added a pre assignment reflection and a post assignment reflection. Reflection before beginning an assignment allows students’ to activate prior knowledge, identify areas of weakness, and set a purpose for learning. Pre reflection addresses the questions, what am I learning and why am I learning. Any time a student forgets, I have them pull out the pre reflection sheet.

Post reflection allows student learning to be solidified. Students think about what they learned and why. Students think about how they will apply this learning in the future. It gives students an opportunity to reflect on the areas in which they found success and the areas that caused them to struggle.

Not only is this a great way to set purpose, but it keeps students accountable for their learning. This type of student reflection also allows teachers insight into the areas that students need reteaching.

It is a win/win for everyone!

If you are ready to get started with student assignment reflection, check out the pre and post reflection sheets I have already created!


Cheers to intentional teaching and student reflection!


Looking for a deep dive into purposeful reflection for both teachers and students? Check out the Intentional Teaching Series.