Monday, 15 September 2014

3 Strengths

My 3 Strengths

I am behind on the 30day blog challenge. I will get caught up this week. We had a weekend away sans enfants, celebrating the wedding of very close friends of ours up in the Muskokas.  
It was beautiful. 

Back to reality! Today I start not one but two AQ courses(gulp). I will be posting about my learning with those courses as well.

Today's challenge for day 15 was:

What are my three areas of strength as an educator?

Image Source: Key Dynamics

1. My connections with the students:

In my career I have always made this number one. I truly believe it is what makes me be a good educator. I take the time to get to know my students, their abilities, interests, family life, hobbies etc. I use this information not only to help the student individually but guide my lessons as well.
For example two years ago, most of my student in the classroom had a fascination with fantasy creatures: zombies and vampires.  

My whole language program became based on that. Student even created a video showing their escape plan in the event of a zombie apocalypse. (modification for students who did not want to do zombies became the natural disaster of their own choice). Students loved this assignment.

In fact it is my belief in the relationship that got me my contract six years ago. (prior to the new hiring practices ). The interview question was simple:

What would your classroom look like, if I entered the classroom?

My answer?

"I can not tell you what the classroom would look like with out knowing my students first. My classroom changes with each day and with each group of students I have. I take their interests, hobbies, strengths and spin that into my day, lessons and units. For example, when I taught core french I had a class of grade six students who were mostly boys and hated French. They were however fascinated with bugs, spiders and anything gross.  This became my French unit.  The boys who didn't like French were now motivated to come to class. 
I can tell you that you may have a hard time finding me as I am often with the students. At their desks and sitting in their groups. "

The principle who gave me my contract later told me how everyone else tried to put the buzz words in that they knew then.  I didn't try and he said he could sense my sincerity with that answer.  He wanted that type of passion in his school and hired me.

2. My creativity:

I have a hard time following scripts and preplanned lesson plans. I really enjoy planning my own. I think I get a little rush from planning something and have the students feel successful and enjoy it.  When I hear them say, "We should do that again" or "This is cool" I am over the moon.  
I think that I am a creative person and use that to create my lessons.

3. My adaptability:

I am ready for the day. I love that sweet spot where everything is planned and ready for the day. (see post here). Yet, something goes wrong or a student comes in not ready to learn or do that lesson that day.  

Change it. 

I think being able to read my students and be ready to switch the subject or material to meet their needs is vital.  You can not learn anything if you are not in the right state of mind.

I am excited to read your strengths! 
Can you name your three?


  1. Hi Maria,

    I liked reading about your strengths.

    I really like how you build your classrooms and themes around student interests. Students must really feel like they matter in your classroom.


    1. Thanks Shauna! I really do hope they feel that way.

  2. Are you seriously starting TWO AQ courses?! You are a braver woman than I! Good luck with them :)

    I love your comments (and story!) on connecting with your students. Over my career so far, I've really come to learn how important those connections are for the students, and how much better a connected class is than one where every student is a stranger. I'm not great at it myself, but I am getting better, and I continue to work at it. Thank you for posting about it!


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