Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Self Assurance Theme

I believe I can fly; I believe I can touch the sky. You have lucked out in that you cannot hear my singing. Today, I will discuss the final of my Top Five strengths as indicated by Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. If you have not read something like this in a while or ever, I suggest picking up a copy at Barnes and Noble--or your favorite book store. My final theme is Self Assurace.

Self-Confidence--simply put, I believe in my strengths. The Self-Assured person knows "...that you are able--able to take risks, able to meet new challenges, able to stake claims, and most important, able to deliver."
Some might consider this arrogance, and certainly one could make that claim about me. Right now I feel like Randy Moss before he got to New England. He believed he was great and told people he was great. But for much of his career, he floundered in because he wasn't into the team he played for. That's me right now. I know I am a good teacher. I know I can deliver; but at the moment, my list of reasons to not deliver is up to 32 (and that doesn't include student behavior).

Unique--One other aspect to the Self-Assured is their unique perspective. No one can tell me what to think because I "...have the authority to form conclusions, make decisions, and act." Like my other themes, this power does not intimidate me; in fact, it liberates me and feels natural.

Ideas for Action: (suggestions for the Self-Assured)

1. Let your self-confidence show. It can be contagious and will help the people around you grow.

Personal Response: This idea can complicate matters more than it can help. Many teachers have self-confidence issues; so when another teacher comes along oozing confidence, the less confident can often turn their vitriol against that individual. But I believe in who I am, and I want others to have the same confidence.
For instance, this morining I had to meet with one of our school counselors regarding a student. This was the first time meeting her and she seemed to be a seasoned veteran. So, I told her I thought she was very good at what she does. It turned out that she has only been a counselor for two years. Her confidence masked her lack of experience.

2. You don't have a great need for direction and support from others. This could make you particularly effective in situations that require independent thinking and action. Recognize and actively contribute the value of your Self-Assurance talents when confidence and self-control are crucial.

In today's education world, the independent teacher just doesn't have much of a place. So how does a self-assured teacher operate in a system that now looks to evaluate its work force with very specific criteria that are not set up by the work force? To this, I don't have an answer, but I am afraid that this talent may get stifled.

Self-Assurance is as much a blessing as it is a curse. People like to bring the confident down to their level, especially where I am at now. The less confident embrace theory and philosophy over action and reality. If "it is what it is" as I hear regularly, then why do we bother? I don't have all the answers, but I do have some. Provide the resources and let the self-assured operate.