It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things." -Theodore Roosevelt
When considering energy, there are a couple of different paths I could take this topic. When I first thought of the word, I imagined a radiant blue org of pure energy (similar to the picture) that you would typically see in a superhero movie or other other action flick. I considered talking about sustainable energy, but remembered it was only a few days ago with the discovery post where I went pretty deep into my science background, so I'm going to try to swing it back toward work. I feel like I talk about work much more than any other topic on this blog, but in many cases that is what my life is currently swirling around.
I find it interesting how we spend our time and energy with our work. We are constantly trying to push toward making a better company, a better product, or maybe even the advancement of our career in such a way that our health eventually is jeopardized. Although I realize this is a big generalized statement, you find it to be true in a lot of different fields (including the one I am in today). I do find it to be important that we take a step back and examine if the work and energy is worth the return in the end. I find this all of the time working with students. This concept is a bit difficult to explain, so I'll try my best to explain it and try to not sound like a mean, judgmental person. When working with students, I try to start all of them on the same playing field. This field is often high trust, high expectations, and high management. As time goes on, however, I alter these settings in order to discover the best way to manage my time with the students. If they give me a reason not to trust them, then I lower my trust for that student. The same can be said if I discover they are more independent and can run things without my management overseeing or if they fail, maybe bring up a more supportive hand in order for them to reach the expectations. I should also note that the expectations should never fall. I've always been an advocate for high expectations because sometimes a student just needs someone to believe in them. If someone fails when trying to reach high expectations, they will still reach a much higher level than if they fail trying to reach a lowered expectation. All of these adjustments are monitored by the return of the student's work.
Although it is important to show a student as much potential as they can establish, it is good to also focus in on the students who are meeting your high expectations with high results and challenge them to achieve even higher goals. I feel like this will only create a greater differential between the students and it should never be advertised that some students might be on a faster track than others, but it is important to realize that all students work at a different rate and none of them should be hurried in their process or slowed in their process based on someone else's performance.
It's funny, I'm actually against most tracking systems in schools, but I think the main difference between a tracking system and the way I work with students in my field is that in a classroom which has a tracking system for "smart students" and "smarter students", there is only a belief that a student can be part of one group as opposed to another group. In my system, I realize that there are so many more levels than two pathways. There are so many different components to take into consideration. For example, if I had two RDs that I was supervising, I might challenge one RD with administrative tasks if that is where they excelled and I would challenge the other RD with community building because that is where they excelled. Although it is a bit of a harder system which requires a lot more time and energy to be placed into it, I believe my system is more beneficial. By being able to take a look at your group as a whole and focus in on their strengths, you are able to propel them at a much faster rate than if you were only focusing on two levels of a single skill or were focusing in on the staff member's weaknesses. Take some time to realize that everyone plays a certain role on the team, then use these roles to your advantage!
Question Time: If a supervisor were to look at you and try to propel your strengths, what role on the team would they see for you? For me, I have always been proud of my ability to listen to other people's ideas and then bring everyone's ideas together with my own as well as resources that I've collected and make something great! I thrive on input, envisioning the future, and maximizing the output! I guess that's why my strength quest results were: Futuristic, Maximizer, Includer, Belief, and Input :)
About the Video: Although I went in a bit of a different direction than this video, I still wanted to share it. Here is a clip from the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver from the end of May. John Oliver has quickly swept through YouTube since HBO has been posted full episodes as well as pieces of episodes of the show in order to attract more audience members. Personally I find him very funny. The reason I am sharing this clip in particular is to further illustrate the idea of considering the output of an event when you place a lot of energy into it. The internet is a very interesting thing. Especially when you are putting energy into something to cover it up, it will only be further copied and distributed all the more faster! Just something to keep in mind. Think before you post sometimes. Goodnight all :)