Thursday, March 31, 2016

A recent success

Another great example of strengths conversation opportunities!  From a fantastic band teacher and TeamMates program coordinator:

Each day one band student tells a story about a time that they've been successful recently. Our new student told us today about when she auditioned for one of two jazz bands at her previous school. She thought she was going to totally blow the audition, but ended up 3rd trombone in the top jazz band. She said she worked on preparing the audition a little bit, but not a ton. Took a couple of days off, and spent the night before the audition practicing a lot.

The kids' first guess at her strength (she doesn't know hers) was Achiever. I asked her if she has a list of things to do, how does she approach the list? Her response: "I try to knock out 2-3 of the things, then come back later...maybe."

I love conversations with my kids!

All students names are on the board, and each day we just move down the list. It used to be "tell me a story," but lately I've been asking them "Tell me about a time that you felt successful."
 Freshmen and sophomores know their strengths, so we'll pull from one of those, but yesterday someone told me a story and I thought it was a strength not in their top 5--which is ok! We used it anyway! All 34 are posted on the wall, and some of the kids have theirs individually off to the side. Occasionally, someone will ask what a specific strength (that they don't have) looks like, and I'll elaborate.
 Yesterday one of my kids came to me because she had a splinter in her hand. I got it out for her, and when she walked away she said, "Way to use your Restorative Ms. Seifert." Made my day! I'm trying to get them to see the good in themselves, and that sometimes it means other people tick differently, and that's ok too.


We went on to discuss that the student may have Focus, or Self Assurance as well.  The discussion was the key part:  seeing the opportunity to talk about a strength in action.  Great, regular conversation around the strengths we witness in ourselves and in others.

Well done Emily!

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