We’re growing at the speed of internet. An endless well of resources awaits us at the mere tap of a finger. What took me years to gather from life experience and focused research you can discover in just a few weeks. More engagement and joy in your life can be yours in a few weeks. How exciting is that?
But how can we have more joy? It’s simple: own your unique self. Knowing ourselves as distinctive individuals helps us to become more inspired teachers and happier humans.
Many books exist to assist you in getting to know yourself but who has the time? So to my young teacher friends out there—those just out of the starting gate in your career—I know that most of you will not (nor will you have the time) to read multiple books and take years to reflect and grow yourself.
So as all good teachers do, I’m going to differentiate for you. I know you will read a blog post, take an online quiz, write something down on a sticky note, and talk to a friend.
That’s all I’m proposing you do right now, today, in the morning, or within the next week. Read this blog post, take an online quiz, write something down, and talk to a friend. Yes, you’ll need to think about it a little but you’re thinking already so that’s no big change, little effort, easy-peasy.
On two separate occasions and ten years apart, I took a personality test and learned my strengths from an online assessment that accompanied the book “Strength Finders”. Over time and through application, both influenced how I worked in the world and how I saw myself.
The knowledge also contributed enormously to understanding and appreciating who I was as a unique individual. I no longer kicked myself in the butt for not being detail-oriented nor wanting to be around people all the time.
OK so you’re not going to take one online quiz. There are two—but they’re both well worth your time.
Personality Test. The Myers-Briggs Personality as an introspective questionnaire to determine how people perceive the world around them and make decisions—aka their personality. They identified 16 unique personality types that exist that demonstrate how we interact with the world around us.
I’m sure there are far more than 16 types, considering gradations between them, but knowing where you fall within the personality types can help you enormously.
You may have already taken the Meyer’s Briggs personality test in college or at some other point in your life. If you have, it doesn’t hurt to take it again. Knowing your personality type as a teacher enables you to focus on your particular preferences and characteristics in the classroom. When you know what you enjoy and how you make decisions, imagine how much more efficient and fulfilled you can become!
To take the quiz, right click here. It takes about 12 minutes. Write down your personality type and any insights. You’ll want to come back to take your next quiz. Have fun!
Strength Finders. Focusing on our weaknesses causes us to feel inadequate and inept. So why do that? We have so many strengths!
Several years ago I discovered “Strength Finders” in the free bin at our local used bookstore. The authors advocate for focusing on building our strengths as opposed to focusing on our weaknesses with an online quiz to get you started. It’ll take 10-15 minutes. Right click on this link for a great assessment to enable to discover and practice with your strengths. The more you work them out, the stronger you’ll get.
You’ll be far more satisfied in your life and career in you shift your focus. Record your strengths so you don’t forget! If you write them on a sticky note, you can post them as a reminder.
After taking the online assessments you know far more about yourself than you did just an hour ago. See how we can grow at the speed of the internet? Now use that information in your teaching. Let it inform how use your strengths and unique perspective of the world.
The last and final step is to share with a friend. Talk to a teacher friend about what you discovered and share the assessments with them. It’s amazing what a few like-minded individuals can accomplish!
Above all else, you’ve learned what an incredible and unique individual you are. You already knew you are brave, creative, brilliant, and kind. What else makes you amazing?