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INITIATIVE

Overview For Teachers

INITIATIVE: The ability to be productive and show ambition; go above and beyond the minimum job requirements; voluntarily start projects; attempt non -routine jobs and tasks; establish credibility; to be able to work independently; complete assigned tasks efficiently, effectively and timely; the ability to work towards goals.

PURPOSE: Upon completion of this module, the student will understand the importance of taking initiative in the classroom as well as the workplace. In addition, the objectives listed below should be met.

OBJECTIVES:

 Demonstrate the ability to take initiative

 Identify situations in which to take initiative

 Realize the importance of working independently towards a goal without waiting for someone to tell you or remind you

OVERVIEW:

This module focuses on teaching students the importance of being a self-starter, going above and beyond the minimum requirements and doing something without being asked because it is the right thing to do . Students will come to realize how important all these factors are in being successful at school and at work. In addition, students will have an opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of taking initiative by participating in various activities designed to stimulate thought and discussion.

TEACHERS: WHAT ARE YOU OBSERVING?

What does initiative look like in the classroom or in school in general? A great way to answer this and get things going is through engagement with the students. Ask your students these questions:

1. What does taking initiative look like in class?

2. How does your productivity affect other students? Example: Homework, group projects, sports, etc.

3. What does taking initiative look like within your learning?

RELEVANCY OF INITIATIVE:

Employers have ranked the ability to take initiative as one of the most significant employability skills needed in the workplace.

LESSON:

Describe a Time When...
Time Allocation: 20  minutes
Materials/Resources: Materials: paper, pencils/ pens, 1 dice, notecards (one for each student) , whiteboard, markers, computers/ tablets/ smartphones (students – optional)

 

WATCH THE VIDEO:


ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:

 Write this quote on the white board from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey :

     o “Habit #1: Be Proactive. Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for your effectiveness in life.”

 When student’s finish reading this quote, have them find a partner and share their thoughts on what this quote means.

 After a few minutes, have a few students share their thoughts with the class.


DIRECT INSTRUCTION:

 Ask students to pretend that they are in a job interview and have been asked the following question:

     o “Describe a time when you took initiative.”

 Give them a few minutes to write down an answer and then have a few students share what they wrote .

 Next, introduce students to the STAR response method: 

     S – Situation: Clearly set up the scene of an example and describe the situation

     T – Task: What was your role?

     A – Action: What products/ services were you personally responsible for?

     R – Result: What happened? Describe the end result.


GUIDED ACTIVITY:

 Have students get into paired groups and review their previous answers to the question. Now, they will revise their answer using the STAR response method and share with their partner.

 When all students have finished, have a few students share with the class.


CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING:

 Technology Use: If computers are available, students could complete their self -reflection online.

 Non-Technology: Non-Technology: Students will pair up with another student to share their thoughts on the lesson. Then, they will report out to the class during the discussion one thing they learned from their partner about the lesson.

ETHICAL SCENARIO--Optional (if not using, skip  to "review and closing")

The Ethical Choice Scenarios have been developed to provide teachers with the ability to make the material applicable to real-life and relevant to the students. Within this guide, directions and prompts for the teacher will be in BLUE for ease of facilitation.

 

READ THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO OUT LOUD TO THE STUDENTS: 

THE POPULAR GROUP

You’ve been trying to be friends with the “popular” group at school ever since first grade. You’ve copied their clothes , listened to the same music, and even took the same elective c lasses throughout middle school and now this year . Even though you are a freshman, you’re in a photography club, have won some local contests, and you were lucky enough to earn the spot as the yearbook photographer. This means you get to take all the pictures for the year book as well as approve pictures that are submitted by others. This news got out to your classmates and all of a sudden , everyone wants to be your friend, including the popular group . You know the only reason people are showing you this attention is so you will approve all the pictures they submit to the yearbook , but you can’t help but be excited about the popular group talking to you, eating lunch with you , and inviting you to parties.

 

You just sat down in the cafeteria to e at lunch and immediately the popular kids sit down next to you. They start gossiping with you and asking you for advice on all sorts of things and next thing you know, lunch is over. Everyone at your table starts heading to class and you notice they leave all their trash and leftover food on the table rather than throwing it away. One of the rules in the cafeteria is you have to clean up after yourself and throw your own trash away but the popular group always talks about how they are “above” the rules and it’s not their job to clean up the cafeteria, it’s the custodian’s. You stand at the table, listening to the popular kids yelling at you to hurry up, and you aren’t sure what to do. Do you leave your trash on the table too, just like the popular kids so you can fit in, or do you take the initiative to not only clean up your trash, but their trash too and possibly lose all the attention you’ve gained from the popular group?


ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: (display them to the class if necessary)

1. How many of you have already been faced with this scenario in real life?

2. What are the possible options for you in this situation?

3. What are possible positive or negative consequences for you, depending on your decision?


GUIDED DISCUSSION: ASK STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION AND HOW THEY
ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS.

NOTE 1 : To help facilitate discussion, share any personal experiences you may have encountered with this same sort of issue.

NOTE 2 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ Whose actions do you control in this situation?”

NOTE 3 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ W hat values do you think are in tension here, why is it an ethical dilemma?”


CLOSING DISCUSSION: ASK THE STUDENTS ,  “ WHAT IMPACTS C OULD YOUR DECISION HAVE ON THE OTHERS ?”


REVIEW AND CLOSING:

Dice Roll: Have students roll a dice and whatever number it lands on, they will answer the corresponding question or respond to the statement:

1. Describe a time you took initiative.

2. Describe a situation in which it would be appropriate to act immediately without seeking the advice of your parents.

3. Describe a situation in which it would be appropriate to consult your parents.

4. What does STAR stand for?

5. Define “initiative.”

6. Describe a situation in which you could take initiative in the near future

CORRELATION TO OBSERVATION TOOL: The Frequency Observation Tool (FOT) has a category where students will be observed and rated on their ability to take initiative. This lesson will help them understand the importance of taking initiative and how to recognize situations in which to do so.


DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS
-Visual: To benefit visual learners, you could post the STAR response method on the white board or somewhere in the classroom so they can refer back to it throughout the lesson.

-Auditory: Auditory learners will benefit from the class discussions as well as the partner work.

-Kinesthetic: -Kinesthetic: To benefit kinesthetic learners, you could allow them to switch seats to work with a partner to allow movement during the lesson. They will also benefit from the writing activities.

-ESL: It might be helpful to give ESL students a printed copy of the STAR response method so they can refer back to it throughout the lesson.

-At-risk: At -risk students would benefit from working with a partner for some extra interaction to keep them on task and focused.

-Advanced: Advanced learners could benefit from helping the other students who rated their understanding o f the lesson on a low level. They could partner up with one of those students or get together a group of students who need help.

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