How Full is Your Bucket?
I've been on a voracious reading streak as of late. The latest selection, How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath (authored Strengths Finder 2.0) and Donald Clifton, is actually for my seniors.
This group of seniors are designated as Level 2, which is the second lowest designation at my school. All year, I've struggled to get much of anything in the way of actual learning from them. We tried short stories; they didn't connect with them. We tried a Business Writing Unit with a presentation; over half of the class did not do the presentation or the writing assignments. After Beowulf came out in the movies, they asked if we could read that. The results were mixed, and I had to do most of the reading because on their own they were lost.
After finishing What Great Teachers Do Differently, I decided to abandon my attempts at literature in the classic understanding for English teachers. Instead, I searched for non-fiction texts that my students might find valuable--meaning books with information they can actually use in their worlds. I narrowed the texts to two, How Full is Your Bucket? and Please Send Money: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own. The class was divided, so we'll do two book clubs simultaneously.
I began reading How Full is Your Bucket? today. The premise of the book is that positive interactions benefit us in our daily lives. I figure that my students, most of whom come from poverty and a system that does not embrace them, will have gain valuable understanding from this book.
But, trying to come up with a unit plan has me stumped. I'll admit that unit planning is a weakness of mine. I think I am great at teaching lessons, but adequate at preparing them. At any rate, the one golden idea that I have is to have the group reading How Full is Your Bucket? present the material at one of our Professional Development days. The truth is that our staff and leaders need to hear the information in this book geared towards successful business leadership.
How amazing would that be? To have some of our lowest academic students (mostly because of poor effort) teaching our staff the importance of filling each others' buckets with positive thoughts? Now that would be a lesson.