“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them.” (Rom 12:6)
In Day 8 of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator we focused on our students’s needs and the ways that they need to learn and pray to excel in the classroom and life. Today we will focus on the strengths that contribute to their success. We will try to identify the unique gifts that God has given our students so that we can help them cultivate and grow those gifts for the rest of their lives.
Identifying your students’ strengths may be hard to do in one day depending on the number of students you teach. If so, today will help you lay the ground work for the discovery of your students’ strengths over time.
Download and use the worksheet for today’s exercise: Exercise 9: Identify Student Strengths.
As you meet with your students this week, fill in the table with information about their play (free time), their observable strengths, and their self-identified strengths. To help you get a handle on multiple students, use the multiple intelligences categories to label each strength. You might also consider keeping track of this information in an excel spreadsheet or Google Doc.
Reference this chart often. Ask students about the activities they enjoy doing in their free time. Compliment them on their strengths. The best thing you can do as a teacher and mentor is help students feel confident in themselves and their abilities. I still remember moments when teachers complimented me. It had an enormous impact on how I identify myself today. One of our primary responsibilities as servants is to positively impact the lives of our students by helping them grow as individuals.