Discover Your Strengths for Teachers

T&L 900: ONL: Discover Your Strengths for Teachers Syllabus (partial)

Introduction


Would you like to discover more about your individual strengths? Would you like to learn how to recognize strengths in your students and others in your personal and professional life?

This course uses the landmark book by Buckingham and Clifton as a text. You have the opportunity to complete their StrengthsFinder profile and discover your own strengths. You will build on this knowledge about your own strengths to create goals and to understand your motivation for achieving your goals.

You may also use the exercises and activities in this course with the students in your classrooms to help them recognize and build on their strengths.

Textbook


Buckingham, Marcus, and Donald O. Clifton. Now, Discover Your Strengths. The Free Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7432-0114-0 You must be sure to get a NEW copy of the Buckingham text, because it contains a code that may only be used once and is essential for the course. Do not purchase a used copy since the code will have been used.

More information is posted under Textbooks on the navigation menu to your left.

Course Objectives


In this course, you will accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Describe the theory of human strengths and strengths building.
  2. Identify and describe your strengths and five dominant themes.
  3. Identify and describe obstacles to maximizing your strengths.
  4. Develop strategies for building on your strengths as a teacher.
  5. Define a goal that utilizes your strengths as a teacher.
  6. Identify and describe what motivates you to achieve your teaching goal.
  7. Identify ways of interacting with others (students, colleagues, administrators, and staff) through their strengths.
  8. Describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom.

Assignments and Grading


This course has four lessons, and you must complete all of the lessons to receive credit for the course. You are to complete the lessons in sequence. All the lessons have required reading from the book. Be sure to complete the assigned readings and read the instructional notes carefully. The instructional notes provide a detailed explanation for the assignments in each lesson.

The assignments include blogs. There are detailed instructions for how to use and upload files to a blog in each of the lessons where they are used. These features allow students to interact with one another and share their ideas and experiences.

Some assignments will require that you submit several electronic files of images or Internet sites. To create an electronic file when required, you may save it from the Internet source, or print the file and either scan it or take a digital photo of it. Save your files as .pdf or .jpg formats.Check the size of the file and if it is large, reduce the image size so it is easier for you to upload and for me to view.

Lesson one and lesson three offer suggestions for adapting the assignments so they can be used in your own classroom. If you have the opportunity to try these activities in your classroom, you can include your experience in the final paper for the course. This is an option, not a requirement because you may not have access to your classroom when you are taking this course.

Each lesson has an assignment that is worth 50 points. The total for the course is 200 points. Your final grade for the course will be based on your total points accumulated out of the 200 points possible. You will receive a letter grade for the course. This grade is based on the following scale:

A 90 – 100% 180 – 200 points
B 80 – 89% 160 – 179 points
C 70 – 79% 140 – 159 points
D 60 – 69% 120 – 139 points
F below 60% 119  and below points

Understanding Assignment Points

Note that the points awarded each assignment are carefully considered and can help you understand the value placed on the assignments. The designated points may also help you plan the time needed to complete the assignments. For example, the blog assignment in lesson one is worth 10 points but the composite image and summary and the paper are worth 20 points each. I would expect you to spend more time on creating your image and writing the paper than on the blog. While there may be occasions where you end up spending more time on an assignment that is worth less than another, this will probably be the exception. You can use this standard for all of the assignments.

I will evaluate your assignments based on the following criteria.

  1. Directions are followed correctly.
  2. All assignments are completed, labeled, and easy to read.
  3. Assignments are proofread and edited to achieve college-level work.
  4. Points are assigned for each activity so that students know how the assignments are weighted.
  5. Written assignments are clearly written, thorough, precise, and accurate.
  6. Drawing and art assignments follow the directions and are not graded on artistic ability.

Grading Rubric for Papers, Summaries, and Blogs.

Use the rubric below to understand the expectations and standards used for grading the assignments.

Objectives

Beginning

1 (D)

Developing

2 (C)

Accomplished

3 (B)

Exemplary

4 (A)

Score

Describe the theory of human strengths and strengths building.

 

Clear description of some aspects of the theory.

Clear description of most aspects of the theory.

Clear and precise description of all aspects of the theory.

Thorough, clear, and precise description of all aspects of the theory.

Identify and describe your strengths and five dominant themes.

 

Complete the Strengthsfinders profile online; identify your strengths and five dominant themes.

Complete the Strengthsfinders profile online; identify and describe your strengths and five dominant themes.

Complete the Strengthsfinders profile online; identify and describe your strengths and five dominant themes; provide one example.

Complete the Strengthsfinders profile online; identify and describe your strengths and five dominant themes; provide multiple examples.

Identify and describe obstacles to maximizing your strengths.

 

Identify obstacles to maximize strengths.

Identify and describe obstacles.

Identify and describe obstacles; include managing around weakness.

Identify and describe obstacles; include managing around weakness; provide examples.

Develop strategies for building on your strengths as a teacher.

Clear description of strategies.

Clear description of realistic strategies.

Clear description of realistic strategies connected to strengths.

Clear and thorough description of realistic strategies connected to strengths.

Define a goal that utilizes your strengths as a teacher.

Clear description of goal.

Clear description of goal connected to strengths.

Clear description of realistic goal connected to strengths.

Clear and thorough description of realistic goal connected to strengths.

Identify and describe what motivates you to achieve your teaching goal.

Identify what motivates you.

Identify and describe what motivates you.

Identify and describe what motivates you; connect motivation to strengths.

Thoroughly identify and describe what motivates you; connect motivation to strengths and themes.

Identify ways of interacting with others through their strengths.

Identify ways to recognize others’ strengths.

Identify ways to recognize others’ strengths and why they are important.

Clearly identify ways to recognize others’ strengths, why they are important, and how to effectively use your strengths with others.

Clearly and thoroughly identify ways to recognize others’ strengths, why they are important, and how to effectively use your strengths with others.

Describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom.

Describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom.

Describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom, including the benefit to the students.

Describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom, including the benefit to the students and yourself.

Thoroughly describe ways to use your strengths in your classroom, including the benefit to the students, yourself, and others.

Scholastic Dishonesty


Students enrolled in this course are expected to be aware of the seriousness of scholastic dishonesty. Unacceptable behavior such as submitting someone else’s work as your own, cheating on exams, or plagiarizing can result in failure of the course or other sanctions. For a more detailed description of these policies, please refer to the UND Code of Student Life, Section 3-3 at http://sos.und.edu/csl/.

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