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.
Time Allocation: 20 minutes
Materials/Resources: S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet, pens/ pencils , paper , whiteboard, markers, computers/ tablets/ smartphones (students – optional)
WATCH THE VIDEO:
ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:
Post this quote on the whiteboard:
o “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Give students a few seconds to decide whether they agree or disagree with the quote.
o If they agree, they move to the front of the classroom.
o If they disagree, they move to the back of the classroom.
Have a few students share why they agree or disagree with the quote.
Ask students to raise their hand if they have personal or professional goals. Have a few students with their hand raised share their goals.
o You may get responses such as going to college, getting a scholarship/ internship, getting a great job, etc.
Have students keep their hand raised and then ask if they know whether their goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals . If they aren’t S.M.A.R.T. goals, they should put their hand down.
o If there is a student who keeps his or her hand up, have them explain what it means to have a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Write the word “SMART” vertically on the whiteboard and ask students if they can figure out what each letter in “SMART” stands for. When they figure out what each letter stands for, elaborate on them further.
o S = Specific: What exactly is my goal? What do I want to do?
o M = Measurable: How am I going to track my progress?
o A = Attainable: Is this a realistic goal for me? Do I have what I need to make it possible?
o R = Relevant : Why am I doing this? Does it matter?
o T = Time -Oriented: When will I reach my goal?
Give each student a S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet and have them fill it out.
When finished, ask a few students to volunteer to read what they wrote on their worksheet .
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: Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Students will demonstrate their level of understanding by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. Students with thumbs down will need more clarification.
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 are excited to have a job and you also get to work with your friends. This fast food restaurant has surprisingly been a pretty good place to work . You feel like you have learned a lot and you are having fun at the same time . You are eager to advance and get promoted, but to do that you understand you have to show initiative, going above and beyond. As you are discussing this with one of your close friends at the restaurant (honestly , more than a friend… you would really like to date this person) they start telling you that they admire your work ethic, but they hope you would “never go as far to clean the toilets, as they could never date someone who did something that disgusting!” Although you know you are just in a casual conversation, their remarks still stick with you. A few weeks later, you are working an evening shift with that same close friend and the custodian calls in sick . You know the bathrooms are starting to get dirty, and that is bad for customers and bad for the restaurant . You want to show initiative and clean them without being asked to do so , but you are also nervous about your friend’s reaction?
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 positive outcomes of cleaning the bathrooms?
3. What are possible positive or negative consequences in the relationship with your friend?
4. What are possible positive or negative consequences for you with your employer, 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 ,“ How can having initiative benefit you in the long-run?”
NOTE 3 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ What 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:
On a piece of paper, students will write down three things they learned today, two questions that they still have , and one goal they have for themselves.
CORRELATION TO OBSERVATION TOOL: The Frequency Observation Tool (FOT) has a category where students will be observed and rated on the ir productivity and taking initiative. This lesson will help them establish personal goals and will give them something to work towards. This internal motivation will drive their productivity and their desire to take initiative.
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS
-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having the information written on the whiteboard.
-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.