Sunday, November 25, 2007

Activator Theme

Today I've chosen to look carefully at how my Activator Theme can affect me as a teacher.

When can we start?--the activator tends to be "impatient for action"

I love to get in front of the class and dive right into a discussion. Where I struggle is in the preparation. Once I have an idea, however vague that idea may be, I want to get started right away. My impatience can often be seen when my students don't come along as quickly as I believe they should.

I will be judged by what I get done.--the activator is not afraid to be judged by what he accomplishes.

I've always been a performance oriented person. I love competition, and thus action has precedence over thinking. Don't get me wrong, I value a thoughtful approach, but in the end, I would rather have something in front of me to react to. It is this judgement that nags me when I feel like I have failed, or even when my students fail. I equate the two. Even when I know that a students is simply lazy or not very intelligent, I equate his failure to a failure on my part. But, I don't fear this judgement, I seek it; because in the final analysis, I believe I get the job done.

Ideas for Action: (suggestions for the Activator)

1. At work, make sure that your manager judges you on measurable outcomes rather than your process. Your process is not always pretty.

Personal Response: Right now, I am struggling to conform to my manger's demand of daily lesson plans that require objectives, goals, initiations, activities, and assessments. It doesn't fit my style. I feel that if you were to talk with my previous employer, and the students I've taught, you would find that my end results are quality. I'm not perfect, but I can teach Literature and Writing to my students.

2. Remember that although your tenacity is powerful, it may intimidate some. Your Activator talents will be most effective when you have first earned others' trust and loyalty.

Personal Response: I had to take this idea to heart. I have a terrible habit of expecting people to trust me before I've earned that right. This flaw has created problems for me in almost all of my jobs. I have such confidence in my ability that I forget I haven't earned the right with everyone to be myself.


Getting tasks done is essential, but I have to be careful to not forget the importance of the process. It is easy for me to dive into the water without knowing everything that lurks below. I can't forget that my colleagues may not be ready to move forward. But, I can utilize this talent to get my colleagues beyond discussion and philosophy. In the end, we have to act; can I bring my colleagues to action and still allow them their time to process?

I need to earn the trust of my administration. Unfortunately though, I don't have confidence in the Education world. Meaning, the business world is ripe with appropriate mentor and protege relationships. Too few high schools have anything quite like that. Because of the dangers, I often avoid seeking out the "higher ups" to share my opinions for action.