Knowing what your personal strengths are is vital to understanding who you are as a teacher. By having a deep understanding and developing our strengths, we will provide our students with the best versions of ourselves. In order to develop my strengths and apply them to my career of being a teacher, I first needed to discover what my strengths and talents are.
According to the Clifton StrengthsFinder online survey, my top 5 strengths are: Achiever, Learner, Relator, Significance, and Discipline.
Instantly, I felt that these results accurately described me, my worldview, and how I live my life.
- Achiever: Clifton and Anderson (2001) describe “achievers” as people “who have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive”.
I tend to be the type of person who likes my schedule for everyday filled with tasks that I want to get completed. I love writing out my weekly and daily to do lists, and I am obsessed with agendas, planners, and notebooks. These things help me keep my crazy schedule in order. I feel satisfied with myself when I have a long list of things to do and I accomplish them all. Whenever I am able to check a task, project, class, assignment off of my to-do lists, I immediately try to replace this with a new project. This tends to drive my fiance crazy, but it is what I do and who I am.
- Learner: Individuals who fall under the “learner” theme are noted as having “a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve” (Clifton & Anderson, 2001).
I tend to want to keep getting better, which is something that is noted on repeatedly within the description of a Learner. However, one aspect of the blurb about learners that stood out to me, was when Clifton & Anderson (2001) stated, “By nature, you customarily figure out what makes each person special”; it went on to state, “Once you understand what drives a person, you can motivate him or her to transform whatever was made better into something utterly superb”. This is a strength I feel is very beneficial for teachers. Once we are able to see the uniqueness of each of our students, we will know how to help them improve and apply their own strengths.
- Relator: Relators “enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal” (Clifton & Anderson, 2001).
This strength fit with my personality, because I am someone who tends to keep a close-knit circle of friends, rather than have many different groups. One of the aspects of the description written by Clifton and Anderson (2001) that stood out to me was it said, “reading is the key that opens the door to a world of fresh ideas”. I may seem old fashioned, but I love to read the newspaper, even if I only read the digital version. Many of my peers tend to get their news from social media sites and watching the news. However, I love to read the different viewpoints of different newspapers, and I like to know information, just in case the topic comes up in conversation.
- Significance: According to Clifton and Anderson (2001), people who fall under the “significance theme want to make a big impact.”
This was one of the strengths I was not quite sure about when it first came up on my assessment. I guess, I just didn’t know what they meant by that. But, once I was able to read more about what a person with the strength of significance does, I felt it was more relatable afterall. One of the key parts of the strength I felt fit me well was, “By nature, you likely have a reputation for being a hard worker… You repeatedly pressure people to excel rather than settle for mediocre results” (Clifton & Anderson, 2001). This is a skill I believe will definitely help me as a high school teacher.
- Discipline: The people with a strength of discipline “enjoy routine and structure” (Clifton & Anderson, 2001).
Besides achiever, I would say discipline was the next strength I had expected to see when I took this survey. I believe this is the driving force behind so many of my accomplishments. I have always been one to live my life methodically. I make sure I write myself a schedule for the week, and I follow it basically to a T. This is what allows me to use my time wisely. I like to work efficiently, so when I do this, I need routines and organization.