Over break, I read Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day, by Dean Shareski and was struck by the phrase “unfair advantage” that Shareski uses:
Finding your unfair advantage is not about competition but rather an internal sense of confidence and purpose. It speaks to Pink’s (2009) and Schwartz’s (2015) notion of mastery and autonomy. While teacher satisfaction research can vary, many studies indicate that the lack of autonomy is growing in education (Sparks & Malkus, 2015). If teachers were told to embrace what makes them unique, to find and foster their unfair advantages, I can’t help but surmise that it would make a significant difference to job satisfaction. The unfair advantage of schools is the diversity of students and teachers.
Shareski explains that, if given that all things are equal – resources, time, etc., we all have something unique that we bring to our work and that gives us an unfair advantage over others. Shareski goes on to say that this isn’t about being competitive. It’s about recognizing a talent or passion you have that others in the building do not have and how that leads to a culture of joy in your classroom and throughout the building.
The problem, as Shareski points out, is that we often can’t see our own unfair advantage because we spend most of our time in our own classroom, our own building or our own district. However, that shouldn’t stop any of us from knowing or finding out what our own unfair advantage is. We should continue to look for opportunities to gain an outside perspective that will allow us to discover what it might be. Discovering our own unfair advantage allows us to embrace what makes us unique and leverage these strengths in our work. Recognize your strengths. Be proud of what you bring to the classroom and to our kids!
Finally, how powerful would it be for our kids if we help them think about their strengths and how they can grow them and use them as they continue to develop as learners?
EnJOY the GREAT week back!
Worth Checking Out —
Upcoming Dates –
27 – Class Panoramic Pictures
28 – Legend Group (403b) here during lunches
29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45 – One2One Pioneers to present; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30
30 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00
30-31 – Herb in DC
31 – Fruit & Veggies (pineapple & carrots); Staff school supply orders due; PTO Parents Painting Night, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
3 – School Community Meeting – “Adjust and Adapt”, 10:45am; Board of Education meeting at ADE, 7pm
4 – BIT meeting, 8am; 5th grade ELA, Part 1
5 – IMPACT PD (K-2 Teachers); 6th grade transition meeting, 2:00 – 4:00; 5th grade ELA, Part 2
6 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM); Blue Jackets Choir performance (before game); 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 1
7 – 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 2
10 – Preschool IEP meetings (Herb/Brian H), throughout day; PTO Meeting, 7:00
12 – Staff Meeting – Progress check on Data Team goal; KG ELL testing; Urban Zen, 3:45 – 4:45; Lambright’s Parent Ed Camp
13 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; One2One Principal meeting, 10am; KG fieldtrip to Franklin Park Conservatory; 2nd grade Wax Museum; Last day to submit requisitions; Staff Lunch
14 – Holiday, No School
17 – 4th grade fieldtrip to Supreme Court & Statehouse
18 – 5th grade Math test
19 – SLSP fieldtrip to Steak N Shake; 4th grade Math Test
20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test
21 – 2nd grade fieldtrip to Art Museum
24-28 – Book Fair, open til 5:00 on 25th; open during Art Show on 27th; open 8:00-10:00 am on 28th
24 – Gifted model parent meeting, 6:00; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (5th=1:30 – 2:15, 4th=2:15-3:00)
25 – 5th grade Science Test; 4th grade Social Studies Test; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (2nd=1:00-1:35; 3rd=1:40-2:15; 1st=2:20-2:55)
26 – Staff meeting, 3:40; Walk-A-Thon
27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Art Show, times TBD
28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge