The examples that resonate with me about strengths-based leadership is the idea that we have to do a better job reaching out to people where they are and not assuming that they are where we are. I know the benefits of taking the time to hear someone’s story in order to understand where they are coming from and know it is critical but am beginning to see things differently. I know I need to be more intentional in looking for strengths and help others to see the strengths others see in them and the strengths they see in themselves. I believe it is important to ask myself, what are my strengths? They are: Energetic, forward thinking, highly curious, open minded to new ideas, love learning, inspire others, spontaneous, enjoy collaboration. What traits am I lacking? Thinking all the details through, Organization, restraint. How am I excluding those around me because they see it differently?
The professional learning opportunities that I am choosing to participate usually have at least one of the “8 Things to Look for in Today’s Classrooms” present, however, I believe professional development needs a redesign. Echoed by teachers I speak with everywhere is that most professional development is the sit and get type! I am currently participating in a program that my district IT department has developed called the Digital Innovation Program. I have grown a tremendous amount, however, am still thirsty for time to reflect and move forward by reflecting and sharing with others, but there just isn’t enough time in the day or allowed when we are at our trainings. As a result, I have worked independently to grow through the books and connections I am making on my own. That is why I have chosen to participate in this book study! It has encouraged me to get my thoughts down even if only for myself! I am realizing that I must find a way to use my time more efficiently! Hmmmmm…What does that look like? How can we all share how we see the world more and share the difference as we see them?
On “Powerful learning first, technology second” (bit.ly/5foundation)
It was that time again, the annual walking field trip 8th-grade students take to a local dairy to learn about the chemical and physical changes that occur throughout the milking process. Each year 145+ students, 20+ chaperones, and 4+ teachers took the mile long trek to a local Dairy to learn about science content within the context of something that is in their community. Students spend the day learning from professionals/professors in the dairy industry about how the animals are cared for, how the waste is managed, end products and the processes that create them, and how the animals are milked which allows them to understand what is happening there and be a little more tolerant of the smell that sometimes comes from it! It’s a special day that ends with a picnic at a local park for lunch before students walk back to school for the end of the day! This year I really wanted to do something different with the information students collected at the dairy so they were given the task of producing something that was able to show their understanding of chemical and physical changes occurring at the dairy which we will share on twitter and youtube as soon as I have the proper permissions. I shared all the images (250+) that I had taken during the field trip and then they went ahead choosing different district approved tech tools, paper/marker, etc. to create their product! I found that the powerful learning that students did with the professionals at the dairy sharing their real world knowledge and careers had an impact on the quality of output and time that students put into formalizing what they learned at the dairy!
Questions to focus on this week!
What does the astronomy look like? What do I need to do to actually gamify the unit? How can I tie in asking questions before our telescope night and how do I get student voice into the unit? What if I was to survey students asking what they need to learn best and then structure this unit around those needs? Really want to give students their own voice in how they learn and what they learn to meet the standards!
How can I start to utilize this idea of strengths-based leadership to help push those that I mentor and myself further? What things am I looking for?