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.
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
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.
Do You Lack Initiative?
Time Allocation: 20 minutes
Materials/Resources: whiteboard, markers, computers / tablets/ smartphones ( students - optional), paper, pens/ pencils , poster board, tape, sticky notes
WATCH THE VIDEO:
ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:
Write the following quote on the whiteboard:
o “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” –Mary Kay Ash
Ask students to reflect on this quote by writing down whether they agree or disagree with this statement and defend their stance. Encourage students to share their thoughts with the class.
Ask students the following questions for a class discussion :
o What is initiative?
o How does someone show initiative in life?
o Why is taking initiative important?
Now, ask students:
o What are some characteristics of someone who lacks initiative?
Some possible answers:
Never finishes projects
No drive in life
Put students into groups of 2 -3 and tell them to pretend that one of the students in their group is asking for help/ advice on how to become more productive / take initiative in their life. What advice would you give them? How could you help them learn how to take initiative? What changes in their life would they need to make? What obstacles might they face?
When groups finish answering these questions, have a spokesperson from each group share their advice. Write the key points from each group on the whiteboard.
Have students create a poster of the key points that you can hang in the classroom as a daily reminder.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING:
Technology Use: Create a short survey with Survey Monkey to check for understanding that students will complete before they leave for the day.
Non-Technology: Circle, Triangle, Square: Students will associate different shapes will different aspects of the lesson. A circle will be something the student is still pondering about from the lesson, a triangle will represent something that stood out in their mind about the lesson, and a square will represent something that “Squared” or agreed with the student’s thinking about the lesson. Each student will draw these three shapes on a piece of paper and write inside of them what they re present from 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:
You have actually enjoyed working at this store and you like your co -workers too. One of the big things that management stresses is safety and cleanliness of the store. As you walk back from washing your hands after your break you notice that the trash cans by the bathroom doors are overflowing. There is actually tissue all over t he bathroom floor too. You keep walking by and think to yourself “that is not my job” – but you hesitate. You are right, it is technically not part of your job description , but as an employee it is your job to help wherever you can. You wonder where the custodian is; this is their job… So, are you going to help out or not?
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 possible positive or negative consequences for you, depending on your decision?
3.Depending on your decision, what could be the impact to the custodian, if any?
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 , “ As a customer, what do you expect from the stores where you shop ?”
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 DOES YOUR DECISION SAY ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE ?”
REVIEW AND CLOSING:
Give each student a sticky note and post the following question on the whiteboard. The students will write their response to the question on a sticky note and stick it on the whiteboard before they leave class.
o What area in life are you lacking initiative?
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 give students the opportunity to realize what it means to take initiative and different ways you can start developing that skill.
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS
-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having the information written on the whiteboard. They will also benefit from having the poster in the classroom.
-Auditory: Auditory learners will benefit from the class discussions as well as the partner work.
-Kinesthetic: -Kinesthetic learners could benefit by writing down any important information.
-ESL: ESL students would benefit from having a partner to assist them in the writing activity in case they have questions or need clarification.
-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 of 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.