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There are some careers that I will never be good at. For example, I could never be a doctor, or an accountant. And don't you dare try to get me a job as a farmer or a factory worker. However, there has been one career that has always had my attention, and the older I get, the more I realized I was made to be a part of that profession. I first decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was six years old. This might be a little too young to really choose a career, but I realize now that I've never lost my passion for teaching. After doing the Strengths Quest activity for class, I was a bit confused on the strengths that showed up at the end. When the two classes got together to discuss what they all meant, I got the same feedback for all of my strengths, "This is a strength that most good teachers possess". Some people think it is silly that a simple test you can take in 30 minutes could help you decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, but according to the millions of schools that use the Strengths Quest to help students decide on a major, it is far from foolish to believe that 30 minutes can help you get started on the rest of your life.
When I first got my results, it was hard to figure out how having "Futuristic" as a strength would benefit me in my choice to become a teacher. Why would I need to be futuristic when I have already reached my goal of becoming an educator? After a lot of thinking, and reading about this strength a few times, I realized that being futuristic didn't just mean looking into my future with great detail, but helping others take a glimpse into their future, and helping them reach the goals they wish to achieve. It's easy to convince others that anything is possible, when I truly believe that.
In the past, there isn't really a time when I could say that having this strength has hurt me, other than the fact that people may tend to think that I am foolish for being so optimistic in my aspirations. Looking into the future and knowing what I want has only helped me become more focused on getting where I want to be. It keeps me from straying from my goals, and helps me make smarter decisions when it comes to other aspects of my life such as my friends and free time.
Consistency could be my most important strength when it comes to being a teacher. It basically says that everything needs to be fair. I don't like when people are favored for any type of reason. It also says that a person with this strength treats everyone equally by having clear rules and applying them consistently. This is obviously a trait that all teachers should possess. I'm sure we've all had at least one teacher in our lives that had her favorite student. And not only do you grow to hate that teacher, but you hate that favorite student even more. It is hard to learn values such as playing fair, and treating others equally when the person teaching you to do so, doesn't practice it themselves.
Growing up, having this strength actually hurt me in as many ways as it helped me. When I was younger I always had so much jealousy when someone was favored over me, or got more attention. I grew out of this, but I remember that sometimes I would actually lose friends because of those tendencies. I know now that it was silly to be jealous of someone for something so little, and now I know to just look past it, and that you can't be EVERYONE'S favorite. Now, I use this trait in a positive way. For example, when I see that someone is being favored over someone else, or is getting all the attention, I also make it a point to approach that person and make sure that they get a little attention as well. I think everyone deserves to feel admired, so I do what I can to make them feel important.
"A teacher should always adopt a fair attitude, when it comes to making any form of evaluations. He should be fair to his profession and assess students on their performance, instead of personal rapports and likings" (Greer, 2004). This was in an article written about a study that was held at The University of Memphis. The study was about the qualities students want to see most in a teacher. This was second or third on the list. "Great teachers have clear, written-out objectives. Effective teachers have lesson plans that give students a clear idea of what they will be learning, what the assignments are and what the grading policy is. Assignments have learning goals and give students ample opportunity to practice new skills. The teacher is consistent in grading and returns work in a timely manner" (McEwan, 1999). This is another source that explains the importance of being fair. Being fair and consistent is always important, but when it comes to educating our youth, it is something that should be stressed.
Woo stands for 'Winning Other Over'. This is a strength that I knew I had before I even participated in the StrengthsQuest activity. In the theme description, it talks about how people with this strength love meeting new people. They don't believe in strangers, just friends they haven't met yet. If there was one strength that I would have to choose over all the others, it would be this one. This is also a very important trait that you can have when you are trying to become a teacher. First of all, you meet new kids every year. This means tons of names, faces and attitudes to remember. Secondly, in the description, it talks about how you have to "work the room". When you're in the classroom, all of the attention is going to be on you, and what you're doing/saying.
There are ups and downs to having this as a trait. It's great sometimes because I always meet new people and make new friends, but it can sometimes give people the impression that I have shallow friendships and don't have any deep connection with others. However, as you'll find out later, I have no problems forming strong connections with people that I care about.
This strength confused me the most, only because I didn't fully understand what it meant. After reading over it a couple of times, I started to see how it really described me pretty well. It talks about how people with this strength are always collecting things. This doesn't just mean material things. You can collect things you can't see as well, such as words, facts, etc. I'm an avid reader, and enjoy reading as many books as possible. Other than reading non-stop, I like to learn random facts. There is something about knowing things a normal person wouldn't that really interests me. It's like when you're searching for something on Google, and you don't see what you're looking for, but you found something pretty cool, which lead to another pointless website and so on. This could come in handy when you are teaching because not only can you educate your students on little facts they may not know, but you can help trigger their curiosity and maybe have them reading book after book, or looking up how much a penguin weighs, just because they wanted to know.
There are some downfalls to having this as a trait. For those who like to collect material things, it could lead to clutter and make it even more difficult to throw things out since you have so many. Other than that, I think that this trait is harmless. I think it's a unique trait and that more people should enjoy "collecting" random facts and words.
As my last strength, I got "Relator". This basically means that I enjoy making strong connections with people, and hold my true friends close to my heart. I always want to know more about the ones that I am close to. I want to know their goals, fears, dream, etc. This can be both beneficial and hurtful for teachers. It is good to get to know your students so that they trust you, and what you are teaching them. You want them to enjoy coming to school every day and you hope they look forward to seeing you. Unfortunately, this can be painful to you as a teacher because you make such great connections with the children, and then at the end of the school year, that may be the last time you ever see them, and you have to start the whole process over the next year. This is a risk that relators have to take. They have to risk getting hurt by those that they care about in order to really get the deep connection they are looking for.
Always wanting to form close relationships with people has actually helped and hurt my ambitions. Knowing that I will have to meet new kids every year makes me shy away from becoming a teacher. However, I have always wanted to become the teacher that everyone remembers. I know how powerful teachers can be, and I want to have an impact, even if it's just on one person. I want to be remembered in a positive person that helped someone shape their life, or help them decide on the person they wanted to be.
" Information can't be transmitted without a solid connection, and neither can knowledge. You need to form a connection with each and every student" (Unknown, 2008). Creating that special bond with your students, and knowing who they are as a person really helps you to educate them they way you should. It is hard to teach a stranger something they don't really want to know in the first place.
There are definitely some flaws I will have as a teacher; however, I think that my strengths will help me become the teacher I would like to be. Everyone goes through stages where they just have no idea what they want to be when they grow up, fortunately, thanks to the StrengthsQuest activity, it's a little easier for me to see that I was born to teach.