Recently, we held a professional development meeting focused on the Thrively assessment. During this PD, we worked to complete the same strengths assessment that our students completed earlier this year. This is meant to “develop the whole child and unleash their potential” (Thrively webiste).
We are well on our way and already recognizing the strengths, interests, and values of each individual. Taking the assessment and knowing these strengths is only the initial part of the process and the Thrively website will help us take a deeper look into strategies to effectively apply this to our classroom learning. The next phase is actually working to recognize and apply these strengths during lessons. By doing this, we will be providing our learners with the opportunity to apply what they are learning and to have a voice that is heard and respected within the classroom community.
Currently, so many teachers are doing exactly this by:
- strategically creating groups with a variety of strengths
- providing opportunities for students to develop their strengths
- providing opportunities for students to excel because of their individual strengths
- applying student voice and input into the classroom community in any way possible
- supporting the students as individuals
By creating opportunities for students to excel and recognize their strengths, we are helping them explore passions that they may never have known existed. We are also giving them the opportunity to recognize the importance of having various strengths within a team. This better prepares them for working collaboratively with a group. The ability to complete a task is only part of the process; the way that a team works together to enhance each other’s strengths is important as well.
“Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability.”
-Sir Ken Robinson: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Our students have the opportunity to work within a team and develop their collaborative skills. By fostering this idea from Sir Ken Robinson’s quote within our classroom communities, we are allowing our kids to be successful in more ways than simply by grades on a report card. We are providing opportunities for them to be successful in applicable skills that are needed in addition to the curriculum we are teaching. As our vision statement states, we are helping our students make a life changing impact by recognizing and applying their strengths, interests, and values:
“…students are developing their leadership and reasoning skills, as well as increasing their self-esteem at a young age to make a life changing impact”
-Feaster Charter Vision Statement
It is by helping our learners recognize their own strengths and the strengths of others as connected to a common goal that we can help our students make that life changing impact today.
Resources Connected to this Topic:
Chris Wejr: Want to Bring out the Best in People? Start with Strengths – (my personal favorite!)
I have had the opportunity to see great things going on in your classrooms! I encourage you to share how you are recognizing the strengths of your students. You can do this with a comment or Twitter post to the hashtag: #FeasterLearns! This will help us build on each other’s strengths and develop our own strengths through communication and collaboration.