Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Strengths 2.0

Doug Johnson of Blue Skunk Blog recently posted about Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. This book is targeted toward business readers. But, as Doug points out, it really applies to anyone who is a creator of ideas. I thought it might help me figure out how to get my teaching to "stick".
I often read business books that I think will help me in the classroom. In addition to Made to Stick, I recently read Strengths Finder 2.0. The book includes access to an online test to identify your top five strengths out of a list of 34 themes and ideas for action. I wasn't too blown away by my top five, but I did find them interesting from a professional perspective.

Learner, Achiever, Futuristic, Ideation, Intellection.

My guess is that many teachers have the "learner" strength. We love to learn and teaching gives us the chance to be a lifelong learners. Futuristic certainly explains the interest in technology. I love ideas, but don't always follow through. For that, I need to buddy up with an "activator". Intellection doesn't necessarily mean I have a great intellect. It just means I like to think. (Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that.)

What does this mean for the classroom? To me, it's just another tool (like MI or learning styles) that highlights human diversity. If I'm senstive to my students' strengths I can better help them appreciate the strengths of others. But, I also remind myself that my students' strengths are still under construction. They need opportunities to try them all.

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