Monday, September 15, 2014

A Few Strengths

This post corresponds to day #15 of the +TeachThought 30-day blogging challenge, focused on reflective teaching through blogging. Click here to learn more about the challenge!

It's true when they say that it can be difficult for teachers to talk about our strengths. It's all about the students, after all, right?  We want to encourage them and help them to recognize their strengths so that they gain a deeper understanding of themselves as learners and individuals. But, we have to remember that modeling self-confidence and self-awareness for our students is a great way to help encourage those skills in them as well.

When I reflected on my own strengths as an educator, here were a few I came up with:

1) I'm an innovative thinker.
I like to push the boundaries and explore new ideas. I'm a connected educator and love to collaborate and connect with my PLN to exchange and explore ideas, strategies and resources.  A quick example from last year: After being met with some indifference initially from staff about coding, I decided to start a recess coding group for our 1-6 grade students last year from January - May, and had incredible results!  Lots of students were interested, and lots of staff became interested. This year, we taught coding as a part of our school's back to school summer institute, our 6th graders will code for 6 weeks straight, and I'm hoping to forge ahead with my recess coding group to include kindergarten.

2) Motivator / Cheerleader / Positive Thinker
I love to cheer people on (students, staff, anyone!) and find the positive side of any situation.  I especially love to take on this role when others take risks and need some encouragement. It's awesome to celebrate an accomplishment with someone who has worked hard to get there!

3) Lifelong learner
I'm definitely a lifelong learner. I think this is a strength because when I learn new things, I am excited to try them out at school. I usually team up with a teacher or find a way to integrate the new idea, all while letting students know that they are about to try out a new idea (I'm also not afraid to fail... FAIL = First Attempt in Learning, right?!).  I also love to learn from my students, and I absolutely embrace the idea that everyone is an expert and has expertise to share.

4) Sense of humor
I love to laugh! I like see the lighter side of situations and try to take things in stride.
A quick anecdote: I was in a 2nd grade class last year and some students were taking while to put their iPads back in the cart after an activity. I got closer to see what was taking them so long, and overheard their conversation, "My iPad says hashtag nineteen. What does yours say? What do you think it means?" ... ahh, hilariousness!  One must have a sense of humor in education - too many silly things happen during the course of a day  :)

What are some of your strengths?  Go ahead, toot your own horn!  These are undoubtedly the things that make you a great and memorable teacher!