PREM Review and Reflection Approaches

Group, individual oral and written 

Approach 1: Significant Moments
1) What were the most significant moments of your experience today, related to your purpose being there?
2) What, if anything, were you hoping for or expecting out of your experience today that did not happen?
3) What were the most important things you learned today that surprised you, whether related or not related to the stated purpose of you being there?

Approach 2: What Happened?
1) What? 
         What happened?
         What did you observe?
         What issue is being addressed or population is being served?

2) So What?
         Did you learn a new skill or clarify an interest?
         Did you hear, smell, or feel anything that surprised you?
         How is your experience different from what you expected?
         What impacts the way you view the situation/experience? (What lens are you viewing from?)
         What did you like/dislike about the experience?
         What did you learn about the people/community?

         What are some of the pressing needs/issues in the community?

         How does this project address those needs?

3) Now What? 
         What seem to be the root causes of the issue addressed?

         What other work is currently happening to address the issue?
         What learning occurred for you in this experience?
         How can you apply this learning?
         What would you like to learn more about, related to this project or issue?
         What follow-up is needed to address any challenges or difficulties?
         What information can you share with your peers or the community?
         If you could do the project again, what would you do differently?

Approach 3: Roles 
What is/was your role at the community site (project or event)? How do/did you see it?
What were your initial expectations? Have these changed? How? Why?
What about your community involvement has been an eye-opening experience?
How has your work connected you to a larger issue you have concern for?
How has your work connected you to any of your academic studies?

Approach 4: Influencers
Introduce yourself and your project or site. Ask your partner, 
Who has influenced you?*
         How have they influenced you?
         What were the circumstances that allowed you to be influenced?
Who have you influenced?*
         How have you influenced the person?
         What were the circumstances that allowed you to influence the person?
         Why do you believe the person was receptive to your influence?
Have your partner then ask you the same. 

Approach 5: Emotional reactions
• What about your experience today made you feel most joyful or enthusiastic?
• As you think about the best aspects of your experience, what can they tell you about who you are (gifts/strengths, passions for work/engagement with others)? 
• How do you see people in your work site authentically affirming your gifts/strengths? How would you name those aspects of your identity? How does it feel to receive this affirmation?
• What connections do you see between the good aspects of your involvement today and past experiences where you have felt joyful or enthusiastic about your engagement? What do those connections tell you about yourself?
• What expectations of yourself and others are you carrying with you as you explore the role of (fill in the appropriate label/descriptor)? Which of those expectations are helping you right now, do you think?

Approach 6: Hard stuff
• Which of your expectations would it be good to practice letting go of?
• What made you feel most uncomfortable, disappointed or self-doubting about the experience?
• As you think about the hardest aspects of your experience, what parts of it had to do with the environment around you, and what parts had more to do with who you are as a person at this time in your life?
• Thinking about who you are, what can you learn about yourself from the hard parts of your experience? Where do you need to acknowledge fragility (as contrasted with gift/strength in one of the previous questions)? How does your past experience shape the way you perceived and responded to challenges you faced today in the environment around you? Where did you feel fear and how did you respond to that fear?
• What other options might be available to you for dealing with challenges and/or disappointments, besides the one(s) you chose today? How might you seek interior freedom to explore those options? How might you develop skills/strengths to face challenges as they continue to come up?

Approach 7: Community member

Describe a person you've encountered in the community who made a strong impression on you, positive or negative.

Written Reflection Example
Who is a city for? Alyzza May, Fund 4 Democratic Communities
     What makes this reflection good?
     Is the writer an expert?
     Why does she connect the event to larger issues? 
    Does the writer draw conclusions?



Explain what service means to you — in six words. Challenge your team members to come up with their six-word definitions.

Follow the same exercise as before. Emphasize that service requires preparation and knowledge before going on site or starting work. Inexperience is not an excuse at a community site. Team members must be open-minded to learning and criticism.

Continue the exercise. Personal accountability is critical, but so is holding others accountable. Ask how will others hold each other accountable? How comfortable are they? Is such a request new?

Continue the exercise, asking again, in six words. Explore, push, press team members to share what went right and what didn’t, and why.