This is part of a series where I explore my top five strengths in detail and think of ways I can utilize them in the classroom. Check out the intro post here. The two books I reference in this post are “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath and “Teach With Your Strengths” by Rosanne Liesveld and Jo Ann Miller.
Intellection means that I am a deep thinker and introspective (129 Rath). Makes sense. My brain never seems to stop running and I frequently need alone time to process events, conversations, and ideas. I also day-dream a lot, making it hard to pay attention to any one thing. Probably why I focus better when there is music or some kind of background noise. This video on Intellection helped me understand that this strength is the reason I work better alone – that’s where a lot my ideas develop. This can pair nicely with my analytical strength because after I have an idea, I can start forming a plan for data collection, data analysis, and/or implementation of the idea.
Next year I will be teaching two different classes in two different departments. That’s two different groups to plan with. I need to be sure to set up a schedule for what days I plan with what teachers and what days I plan alone and be sure to set those boundaries and expectations with the other teachers. Without this, I could easily see spending both my off periods planning with each department instead of having time on my own to plan.
One suggestion that Liesveld and Miller had is to ask important questions and “keep track of the questions that have stimulated the most discussion and generated the most learning” (138). They are right in that I do come up with some pretty good questions when I have time and space to think. Perhaps I should include whole-class discussions as a regular activity in my instruction. Or at least small group purposeful talk. Maybe I should have the students start out with small group discussions and turn into a while class discussion, once students have had the opportunity to develop and voice their ideas in a less-intimidating setting.
Oh! Maybe I could have a big question that I pose to students at the beginning of class for them to keep in mind the entire class. Then at the end of class, after clean-up time, they can partner up or group up and discuss that question until time to leave class. I like it.
What other ways do you suggest I implement deeper thinking into the classroom? I would love your suggestions on ways to make class discussion more successful. I haven’t done many of them, so this will be fairly new territory for me.