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.
How to Take More Initiative
Time Allocation: 20 minutes
Materials/Resources: paper, pens/ pencils, whiteboard, markers, 9 Ways to Take More Initiative Worksheet
WATCH THE VIDEO:
ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:
Write this quote on the whiteboard 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.
Give each student a copy of 9 Ways to Take More Initiative Worksheet
Start with a short class discussion about the importance of establishing goals for the future and a plan of how to achieve those goals. Have students write down where they see themselves in five years and what they will be doing. (Examples: working, in the military, graduated from college, starting a family, etc.)
Next , have them write down where they see themselves in ten years and what they will be doing . (Examples: own my own business, supervisor/ manager, finished graduate school, raising my kids, etc.)
Lastly, have them write down what their dream career.
When finished, tell students that it is okay to have personal/ professional goals that are different from everyone else. We are all different and have different dreams and aspirations
Next, ask them:
o How are you going to achieve your goals?
o What steps are you going to take to reach your goals?
o What can you do today to help you reach your goals?
On their worksheet , have students write down the steps they will take to reach their five - and ten-year goals.
o Examples of steps they could take would be:
Go to college/ get a degree
Get hired by the company
Work my way up the corporate ladder
Take an internship
Have students share the ideas they came up on how to reach their goals.
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: 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:
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:
Ask students the following question and have them discuss it with a partner.
o How will planning your dreams and writing down your goals help you take 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 help them understand the importance of taking initiative and how taking initiative can help them reach their goals.
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS
-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having a printed copy of the worksheet as well as having any important information written on the whiteboard.
-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: 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 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.