slice of my life

Monday, January 12, 2009

I may have to do my writing in installments because I think I have a lot to say about this, but it's overwhelming me to think about getting it all out! So I must start somewhere. Here goes!

I am taking a class at church using the StrengthsQuest materials. Our teacher has taken this secular training and added a Biblical perspective. I LOVE doing stuff like this.

StrengthsQuest helps a person identify his strengths and then has some training on how to capitalize on the strengths. It's being used in the corporate world and also with college students to help them get into work that suits them best. There are 34 strengths, and you're given your top 5 after you take a test. It's a long test---it took me 25 minutes to get through it.

Here are my top 5:
Input
Learner
Intellection
Connectedness
Belief

Each one of these Strengths were given to me by God. They're my talents, if you will, my unique qualities that help shape who I am. My homework is to write a bit about each one and what it means to me.

Starting with my number 1, I begin.

INPUT
"People strong in Input have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information."

What is my blog except an archive of my life? I usually feel a little bit guilty when I blog because it's not "productive" enough, but I really do feel a drive to do it! I also love to scrapbook, and I have had them since high school. One of my biggest collections is my files for teaching---I have numerous boxes of Alphabet ideas, seasonal activities, Bible stories, information about countries, and everything else I think is useful. I also have some photo collections---Texas county courthouses and those trains we had around our town. Here are some more phrases the literature mentions----
  • You collect it because it interests you, and so many things are interesting to you. This is true of me!
  • You are inquisitive. Isn't everyone?
  • Why are these things worth storing? At the time, it's hard to say, but they might come in handy sometime. This has been my teaching file theory!
  • You don't feel comfortable throwing anything away. Yes . . .
  • Acquiring and compiling stuff is interesting and keeps your mind fresh.

This strength definitely applies to me. I am always asking questions about things and finding things interesting. I have said that if you watch any Biography show, you'll find something interesting about it. I like to watch the History channel, too. I'm not into war-type stuff, but even some of those shows interest me, too.

This pairs SO much with my 2nd strength, that at first, I didn't know what the difference could be. But I knew that my J had this same strength (his #2), but he didn't have Learner. And as I read more closely, learner is different. And it SO me, too.

LEARNER
People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

I LOVE school, a conference, a new class, the beginning of a new school year, a new idea. LOVE it!! I do like the process of learning---and I really do think that if the outcome still isn't as high as you thought it would be, it's still been beneficial. I do have a desire to learn---and I'm sure this makes me a good teacher. I hope I can inspire my students to want to learn also. I hope they can see that it's fun and interesting.

I am enjoying being a grown-up learner. I can't see ever NOT wanting to learn. I like that now I have the freedom to learn whatever I want! I was always excited to begin a new semester. I was excited about getting all my materials together and the books.

J has Input, but he doesn't like to do all the processes in learning. I do. I sort of like "showing my work" on math problems and diagramming sentences.

I really enjoyed looking at the "professional Action Items" from the website. These are things to point you in the right direction using your strengths. Some of the things in the Input strength that hit home are making time to read stuff that interests me, reading the dictionary and deliberately increasing my vocabulary, finding ways to share the information with others, and accept that I will never feel like I know enough. The professions they mention with Input are teaching, research and journalism. Hello! I'm a teacher! ;-)

The Learner Action Item that most touched me was that I should honor my desire to learn---and I am at a point in my life where I am really doing that, and not just for my certification training. I found that I really enjoyed reading "classic" books (books I think I should have read in college?), and that if I got the Cliffs Notes, I enjoyed learning more about the novels. I love the backstory, and reading the Cliffs Notes gave me that extra info I liked.

Well, there's more, but I am tired!! My last three are Intellection, Connectedness (which is on J's top 5, too), and Belief.

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