Capturing Your Classroom’s Strength-Based Energy!
Know your teacher talents. With the new school year approaching, consider making a commitment to Strength-Based Teacher-Driven Change by fully knowing your own, personal teacher talents. For example, if your principal walks into your classroom and enthusiastically tells your students, Your teacher is great and let me tell you why, what would the principal say about you? Would your principal say you are super analytical? Or, maybe you are an achiever, connector or maximizer?
What are your personal teacher talents? When are you most successful in your career?
I know for me it was the day the past Director of the Institute for Teaching (IFT) asked me, What talents do you bring to the table today? —- that gave me the opportunity to tap into Me; my personal, heartfelt talents.
It was a CTA IFT Think Tank meeting, and I had no idea what the expectations were, why I was sitting at the meeting, or how I would contribute.
Especially during the first weeks of school, our students feel that way. They wonder and question what the teacher’s expectations are or whether or not they will be successful in the classroom. Focusing on their talents can reduce their uncertainty and amplify their joyful reasons for being in your class.
Embrace student talents. Make sure that you have access to the free website, Thrively.Com. Join right away, take the assessment yourself, and then, set aside a 40-minute block to assess each of your students, too. It would be a good idea to talk to your students about the WHY on talents, strengths, and passions before they take the assessment, plus you might want to remind students they need to ask questions if they do not know what certain words mean.
Additionally, let them know certain parts of the assessment require movement (at their seat) so remind them not to fret if they see other kids tapping their heads or rubbing their stomachs. After the students take the assessment, hold a discussion about whether or not they felt the assessment accurately represented their talents.
Group students by talents. Try to group students into pairs or teams based on talents. For example, students can sit together by talents, “All students have received the ‘fun-loving’ talent, group together near the white board,” or, ”Make sure you have 3-4 people in your group, and each of you needs to have a different talent to contribute to the group!” Make sure that while students work together in their teams, the students embrace their personal talents, share their talents with their teammates, and find ways they can creatively use their talents to add value to the team.
Especially at the beginning of the school year, it is essential that students have time (a lot of time) to think about and reflect on their talents. Several students might feel uncomfortable talking about talents because they think they have ”none.”Others will wonder and will not be able to make up their minds, yet a few students will know their talents right away because they have powerful role models, mentors, and coaches who are constantly informing them of their talents.
The classroom conversations that wrap around talents will foster and support a strength-based culture of success for every student. Student-led teams, student-led projects, and a student-led culture will undoubtedly move the year forward in such a fast, exciting way, that the start of the school year will, in no time, be the end of the school year! If you are interested in more #strengthbasededu lessons and activities for your classroom, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org