You want every child and every adult in your school community to understand what their personal power is and how to hold on to it.
Empowering everyone in your building ensures that each person feels valuedand important.
Empower Your Staff
Get to know every one of your staff members so that you know their strengths and gifts. Getting to know everyone can be fun and easy.
I have used several different methods to collect information about the people on my staff.
Here are my three favorites.
1. “Stand Out” by Marcus Buckingham
Marcus has written several books about identifying and understanding one’s strengths. Each book provides a “key” to use to access his on-line “Strengths Survey“.
This survey is an easy to use assessment tool which provides a personal profile identifying the individual’s five top strengths. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses, Buckingham advocates that we celebrate our strengths and put those to good use in our everyday living and working with others. This easy to use assessment provides lots of valuable information about everyone on your staff. You can easily empower each person by highlighting their strengths and putting those strengths to work within your school. You will quickly learn which person is best to ask to take care of the staff’s “touchie-feelie” needs, which person is the best one to keep track of the time during meetings, or which person to ask to take care of supplying food for meetings.
2. Carl Jung’s Personality Profile
This personality assessment uses Carl Jung’s theory that there are sixteen main personality types. According to Jung, we all fall into one of these sixteen personality types depending on our preferences in the following categories:
(1) Sensing-Intuition, (2) Extrovert-Introvert, (3) Thinking-Feeling, (4) Judging-Perceiving
To determine your personality profile, you participate in an on-line questionnaire. You answer each question by selecting your preference from the choices you are given. It is a fast and easy process.
To have your whole staff complete the questionnaire, you can take everyone into your computer lab and have each person complete their on-line assessment at the same time. It will take about 15-20 minutes. After they complete their assessment, have them print their “findings” and then cluster together with others with similar results.
You will want people to record their results so you can gather and share that information as a talking piece at a later time. There are no Right or Wrongpersonalities. We just are who we are!
What is helpful for you as the administrator, is that you will quickly find out which staff members are detail oriented or time conscious or more laid back. You will want to make note of that when deciding how to form teams or when wanting to find someone to plan the track and field events, etc.
Information about the Carl Jung Personality Test (also known as the Meyers Briggs assessment) is readily available on line
Carl Jung Personality Assessment
3. True Colors Personality Assessment.
This assessment groups people into four color groups, Orange, Green, Goldand Blue based on each person’s responses to a series of questions asking about their personal preferences in certain situations.
You can bring in a trained presenter for this assessment. If you do that, you and your people will have a half day of fun as you learn about yourself and everyone on your staff.
Everyone will be engaged in creative, low risk, activities while learning their own and their colleagues’ personalty color.
You can find out lots more about True Colors on line.
So now what…
Well, if you do any of the above information-gathering activities, you will have provided your people with some valuable information about themselves that will be useful to each staff member and to you as their administrator.
Once you have gathered all the information, chart and post it. Make this a “Who Are We” and a “Who Ya Gonna Call” type of process. Make it FUN!
With the information you gather, you can form work groups based on who works well together and based on how people work through challenges.
Empower Your Students
Helping your students understand that they have their own power is an enlightening experience for children. Often times children feel powerless at home, in the classroom, and on the playground. Teaching them what their personal power is and how to use it wisely gives them control over their daily encounters with others.
Sometimes the best way to teach children about their personal power is to help them understand what happens when they give it away. For example, if a student chooses to disobey the school’s rules, they face the school’s consequences. They have given away their power and handed it over to the person assigning the consequences.
Helping the students understand that functioning within the school’s guidelines is their choice, but when they decide to disobey the rules, they have given away their power and possibly their recess or free time. Giving away or keeping their own power is their own choice.
Giving students jobs, either in the classroom or throughout the school, helps instill a sense of pride in the themselves and in their school. There are countless jobs you can find that students will eagerly volunteer to do. Some examples can be found here.Student Jobs
The more you invite parents into your school to help with activities, to help plan events, to help decide on matters important to school life, the more you empower them. They will feel they are valued! They will be your biggest ambassadors if they truly feel they play a part in the life of the school.
Empower Your School Community
Invite community members into your school for assemblies or fun events. Ask them to speak at assemblies, if they are interested in sharing something about their business or how they see the school plays a role in their business.
Bring some students with you on a mini field trip to introduce your school to any businesses close to your school. Ask local businesses if they are willing to display some of the students’ art work.
Once the businesses feel that you recognize them in the community, they will gladly acknowledge the school as an important partner in the neighborhood.
Teacher Performance Appraisals
The best way possible to empower your teachers is to acknowledge their teaching skills. Watch your teachers teach and give them encouraging, positive and constructive feedback.
Your school district will have policies and procedures to follow for conducting your teacher performance appraisals. Make sure you are familiar with those and them make them your own.
You will need to be prepared for three types of teaching.
- Superior teaching
- Average teaching
- In-need-of-help teaching
You will need to provide feedback for all three types of teaching. In order to do that, you must have a clear picture in your mind of what you want to focus on with each teacher to help him or her reach their greatest potential.
To save time and ensure you are on the right track, either read through existing teacher appraisals for people in your school or ask a colleague to share one or two reports they have written.
Once you understand your school district’s format, create a template and begin filling in as much information as you can for each teacher requiring a performance appraisal. Save each one separately in their own folder. Add to those folders as the year progresses after each of your observations.
Keeping all your observations in one location will make writing the final report much easier.
There are countless ideas on the internet to help you with report writing and data gathering.
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9 Comments So Far
While I am not in education, many moons ago, I wanted to teach mathematics. I wound up in retail and if I am tenured in anything, it’s entry-level management. If I can attest to anything, it’s the importance of empowering your staff. I have found a lot of success in retail knowing how to assess different behavioral modes and using my findings (general observation, experience, and personally I am a habitual people watcher) to drive productivity.
Deploying people where their strengths are is more than empowering to them but it dominoes into everything else … like the students. I remember being a student but this twist wasn’t there. I followed the rules thinking I had no choice. What IF kids knew how powerful it is when you make the right choice opposed to making the right choice because you don’t even have one? Starting this from the moment they are in school promotes integrity and sets the stage for a great adult that will be comfortable accepting responsibility.
I am off, by the way, to see where I fall in the personality assessment quiz and I am going to encourage my coworkers to do the same … just to see what I find. Thank you so much for such an informative and beautiful post.
Thank you, so much for your comments.
Absolutely check out the personality form. I had everyone on staff complete it. We had so much fun seeing who fit into each category. We then know, for certain, which people to get to do certain tasks such as organize a social, or set up the next whole school event. It also helped us understand that some people want to think “out loud” and others preferred to just mull things over before making any statements.
Have fun with it.
Thank you, again.
I hope you do the personality assessment. It is a fun thing to do and it is very helpful if other people you are working with do it as well. You will learn lots about yourself and how you interact or react with one another. My entire staff completed the personality assessment and we charted the results. We quickly knew which people would be in charge of social events and which ones would make sure everything was perfect within the working environment. Every personality is important and valuable. Learning how to tap into each person’s strength is critical to bringing about a happy working place.
Thank you for visiting my site and for sharing your thoughts with me.
Have fun with the personality assessments!
I never set foot in school environment, besides being in a Tech school a year. I was homeschooled but I do understand the use of tests as ways to help with empowerment.
Carl Jung’s personality test is one I’m most familiar with. I fall into the INFP category. I took the test twice with the same results.
Personally tests and stats are flawed and I don’t think that they really help empower everyone. A majority yes! The truest results come from knowing a person on a more personal level. In my experience in the workforce I’ve seen to many left out.
Thank you for visiting my site. I agree, the best way to get to know a person is through your daily encounters with one another and appreciating each person’s unique personality.
I firmly believe that when we help and understand one another, we are more empowered as a group and as a society.
Thank you for your valuable comments.
Whilst I fully agree, there is nothing as good as getting to know people personally to find their strengths and suitability, there is not always time.
These â€œtestsâ€ can be used, in themselves as:
â€¢ Ice breakers
â€¢ trust builders and
â€¢ team builders.
In a group working together, everyone does not have the same level of contact with their associates / bosses / children etc. Doing analysis such as this can also help people, who feel undervalued, to express themselves and show they have other talents.
Often the issues in a business or organisation that is mal functioning is one or both of the following:
â€¢ Square pegs in round holes
â€¢ Under functioning people.
I think helping people into activities which suit their strengths and help them grow is important. This can also help the whole organisation.
Children. I really like the idea of empowering students to have opinions regarding their environment and practicing how to be happy in society. The rules in schools are precursors to the big world outside.
Thanks for a thought provoking informative article, loved it. Am off to test myself now. (People do change, you know.)
Thank you, very much, for reading my page on Empowerment.
I have learned that the more power you give to people, the happier they are and the more productive everyone becomes.
As long as the credit is given to everyone for the leadership roles they perform, then everyone can feel they are a part of the success of the organization.
I have found that sharing the results of the personality analysis tests brings people together in a light hearted way. (Enjoy finding out your own profile!)
There are no right or wrong personalities.
We just need to appreciate and understand that we all have different approaches to situations and that those differences must be honoured, in children and in adults.
Thank you, again, for visiting my website.
I appreciate your helpful feedback!
One of the best things for community building, I think, is a school that is a hub for community activity. I am thinking of a public elementary school here on Maui — Haiku School — which has made a tremendous effort every year to involve the community with school activities.
For a number of years now they’ve put on an anticipated festival that raises money for the school’s extracurricular programs that include a full-on vegetable garden that the kids do with help from elder farmers in the community, a history project that collects all the memorabilia of the area’s agricultural-days history, and an indigenous Hawaiian plantings project that is spearheaded by another group of elders.
Many musicians volunteer to provide music and many craftspeople and plant nurseries join in as well. It’s very exciting.
Thank you so much for your comments.
Wow! I love what that school is doing to celebrate the community, the culture, the uniqueness of the people, etc.
Exposing the students to activities like that helps teach them about citizenship and belonging.
Involving the elders in such meaningful ways is fabulous!!!!! What a beautiful opportunity for the elders to pass down their skills and knowledge to the youth in the schools.
That school is truly living the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child”.
Everyone must look forward to those festivities. I know I would, for sure!
Thank you for sharing the information about that amazing school.