Friday, July 25, 2014

Learning About Myself (and My Students)

For work, we recently had to take the StrengthsFinder test. The test gives you your top 5 "talents" and those talents, plus knowledge and skills, become your strengths and can make you better at whatever you do in life (in this case, teaching).

Doing this made me think: What if my students were equally aware of who they are and what natural talents they have because of their personality? How might this shape how they work in class? And if I am aware of their talents, how might I better relate to my students? Could it make me a better teacher if I knew both my talents and my students?

Well, we're giving it a shot. And so during the 6th grade Culture/Testing Week, one of the sessions will be about personalities. I'm not actually teaching/leading it, but I helped plan it and during that process we took a variety of tests to figure out the simplest version for 11- and 12-year-olds.

We settled on the True Colors test (another version we considered and could be cool to pursue throughout the year or in future years is one my sister is trained on through her job: E-Colors).

Both tests sort people into four colors. For True Colors, it's...

  • Gold: People who are orderly, dependable, like structure. (Apparently most teachers are gold... although I am very much NOT a gold. That's my polar opposite.)
  • Blue: Sensitive, loyal, enthusiastic, empathetic people. (Based on the test, this is me.)
  • Green: Analytical, logical, intellectual folks. 
  • Orange: People who tend to be active, Competitive, Impulsive and Energetic (this was my secondary color, but only minimally over being green).



With E-Colors, it's similar but looks like this:

With this test, I am a Relating Socialiser (Blue-Yellow).  


What I like about these tests is that, first of all, colors are super easy to remember. When I did the Meyers-Briggs test a while back, it was fun and all and informative, but I can never remember the dang letters (all I remember is that I am the same personality type as Anne of Green Gables and that made me giddy as can be). 

The second thing I like is that we've been able to find a whole lot of simple resources to use to explain basic things about each color: how they like to work, what frustrates them, what makes them happy, etc. And I think this could be really cool in helping figure out jobs/tasks for students, talking to them when they are in trouble, and just motivating them to be successful. 

It just feels so exciting! I can't wait to try putting this into action during this upcoming school year! 




Solid Gold

Curious Green

True Blue

Action Orange

Esteemed for

Being dependable

Discovering new insights

Being a good listener

Being fun and taking risks

Stressed by

Lack of order

Feeling inadequate

Feeling artificial

Restrictions

Highest virtue is

Responsibility

Objectivity

Loyalty

Courage

Key characteristics

Being prepared

Ingenuity

Authenticity

Talent and skill

On the job

Organizer

Pragmatist

Peacemaker

Energizer

Perception

Structure

Abstract

Concern

Excitement

Primary needs

To provide stability and order; be in control

To be competent and rational

To be authentic and care for others

To be free and spontaneous


Longs for


Security

Insights and knowledge

Love and acceptance

Freedom

Strives to foster

Traditional values

Thoughtful consideration

Harmony

Fun and recreation

Take pride in

Dependability

Competence

Empathy

Impact

Specialty is

Accomplishments and results

Research and conceptualizations

People

Entrepreneurship

Validated by

Being appreciated

Affirming their wisdom

Acceptance of others

Achieving visible results

Trust

Authority and tradition

Facts and logic

Intuition and feelings

Impulses


P.S. In case you're one who likes extra details, here's some more specifics about my color personality types:

I am a person who enjoys and thrives on having people around me. My focus, though, will be on the others, not me. I have a naturally warm disposition and people are generally comfortable opening up to me. I have a natural desire to help others, even doing volunteer work for organizations that allow me to aid others. I love parties. I am creative and in some cases, musically oriented. I am adept at starting and sustaining harmonious relationships. I am tolerant, understanding, supportive and a natural listener. I love life and I love people. I have an inherent desire to help people and I have to be aware that this in-built need could get me hurt or even killed. I find it virtually impossible to stop myself from jumping in to help someone else. 

My tendencies include:
  • I project a warm and caring attitude and prefer the same from other
  • I enjoy displays of affection and approval
  • I dislike aggression and conflict
  • I get turned off by complexity and confusion
  • I have a tendency to be more expressive or emotional under pressure
  • I am a challenge for RED / GREENS - GREEN / REDS, as my focus is generally on people, not tasks and objectives

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