What would happen if we spent as much time striving to develop our talents as we did attempting to eliminate weaknesses?
Recently our administrative team was talking about the teacher evaluation process and how we historically ask teachers to develop a professional growth plan (PGP) based on “weaknesses.” We identify areas of needed growth, develop detailed plans for improvement, and strive to improve upon these perceived shortcomings.
How’s that working for you?
During our discussion, I thought about a book that I read several years ago entitled Now, Discover Your Strengths which basically encourages you to focus less on trying to repair flaws or weaknesses and learn to identify your talents and purposefully plan to capitalize on them.
Being a big Seinfeld fan, I also thought of an episode where George Costanza vows to “do the opposite.” In this episode, George begins to do go against his every instinct. He begins to eat, do, and say things that go completely against his normal behavior.
Sometimes growth, or innovation, tends to come from deciding NOT to do something that you've always done or to do something that you would normally not even attempt to do.
Does your classroom still operate like it did five years ago? Change it up.
Think that you lecture too much? Set a timer and don’t allow yourself to talk more than a few minutes at a time.
Tired of mounds of paper work? Pick a lesson or unit and make it paperless.
Always ask questions with one right answer? Ask questions without one correct response.
PGP’s based completely on weaknesses aren't leading to the results you desire? Focus on building upon a strength or talent that you have.
Again I ask, what would happen if we spent as much time striving to develop our talents as we did attempting to eliminate weaknesses?
What if we, like George Costanza, did the opposite!