Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Using the Know Your Own Strengths Poster

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Using the Know Your Own Strengths Poster

Article excerpt

Editor's Note: This handout is fully formatted for distribution and available for downloading on the NASP website. Click on Communiqué Online.

The annual NASP School Psychology Awareness Week poster has adapted over the years to be so much more than a wall-hanging- it has become a source of inspiration. This year's poster was created to encourage students, school staff, parents, and communities to explore their individual and collective strengths. It can be used as a tool to begin conversations and activities related to the theme, "Know Your Own Strengths. Discover Them. Share Them. Celebrate Them." When you hang this poster up on the wall, consider placing it in a strategic location so that you can refer to it as needed when providing direct services to students. Or hang the poster in a public space near your office and print out a PDF version to hang in your work area or carry with you in your briefcase (Note: A limited quantity of additional posters is available upon request). Some suggestions for how to use the poster appear below.

Discover diverse strengths. Allow students to explore their personal strengths and how they differ from those of others. Have students think of one of their strengths and write them on the board or say them aloud. Discuss how each is useful and important in the classroom, school, and community. Talk about how everyone's strengths are useful in different ways, and each is important.

Notice strengths in others. Take some time during the school day to give students the opportunity to see the strengths in their peers. In small groups or pairs, challenge students to write down some strengths of each member of the group. They can then save the list as a reminder of the best qualities others see in them. For a class-wide activity, try a compliment circle where each student is challenged to give a compliment to the classmate to their right based on personal strengths.

No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Teambuilding activities are a great way to demonstrate how each person can contribute to the group, but would not be able to accomplish as much as an individual. This is a perfect time for school psychologists to take a few minutes to share an activity with the staff. Take a few minutes to share a teambuilding activity during a faculty meeting. Teachers may enjoy sharing the activity with their students, too.

Encourage family discussions celebrating strengths. At home, have a designated time for each family member to reflect upon what their individual strength is and discuss how it can be used to strengthen the home environment.

Come together for a good cause. Show the strength of working together as a group to help the community. Students can create a fundraising activity for a local charity or volunteer to clean up a park or beach as a group. See how much you can accomplish by pulling everyone's strengths together.

Show and tell. Have students identify one strength they would like to show to their class. Ask them to bring in an item from home that demonstrates their chosen strength and talk to the class about it.

Pay it forward. Challenge students to use one of their strengths to help someone this week. For example, a student with a strength in sports can teach someone how to play. If a child is strong in math, he/she can help out a classmate.

Class-wide collaboration. Think of one of the strengths of the entire class, and use it to help the school. For example, the most senior class in the school may choose to assist younger students through tutoring, reading, teaching a new skill, or modeling good behavior. …

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