Teachers. It is where it begins with Thrively. China Paden from Nantucket High School has been a Thrively enthusiast for years. Each year, finding funds to support her students in their Thrively endeavors. As the Liaison for Special Services, she knew that ALL of the students at her high school would benefit from Thrively. Ms. Paden applied for a grant, and received funding and now all of her students at Nantucket High School have the ability to identify their strengths, explore their strengths at a deeper level, and transfer those strengths into all areas of their lives.
Within four weeks of implementation, she was able to show that all of the learners that she served were known, and that they had agency to explore their strengths at a deeper level. Research shows that learners are 30x more engaged when educators know their strengths. At Thrively, our goal is to continually support our teachers who are in the classroom. We know that teachers mold our future, and we are honored to support them in developing an asset based environment where each and every student can thrive.
We started our lesson wondering, “Why is it important to notice the Strengths in others?” Through a team investigation in the books we are reading, the second graders at Turtleback Elementary School in Poway Unified were able to uncover a lengthy list of qualities that make their favorite story book characters strong. Qualities like, loving, curious, brave, trustworthy, and hard working just to name a few.
As the teams of two worked to uncover the Strengths of their book characters, it was clear that Mrs. Erpelding, Mrs. Ocampo, and Mrs. Brokaw have classes filled with learners showcasing a variety of Strengths. Joe and I were welcomed in with kindness and joy. We noticed students compromising, sharing ideas, and taking risks in working together.
As we wrapped up our time in each class, we shared our findings and reflected on our initial wondering, “Why is it important to notice the Strengths in others?” What we landed on was better than expected, “When we look for the strengths in people, we help them feel good and we feel good too. We remember them for what they are good at and then we feel good about being together.”
The 40 minutes we spent with these classes is a reminder of how capable learners are in identifying the good in others, even when we had to dig a bit to find the Strengths of the Troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff. What is equally exciting is that this is the first lesson in a series of 8 (Strengths: What are they and Why do they Matter?) from The Thrively Strengths Vocabulary Project, which has learners deeply engaging in Strengths vocabulary, identifying the Strengths in their community, and celebrating their own Strengths they identify with and understanding why that matters.
If you would like additional information about getting started with the Thrively Strengths Vocabulary Project for your learners, reach out to the Thrively Team today.
I can confidently share one thing I know to be true about Integrity Charter School in National City, San Diego: Their amazingly driven, compassionate, and fun-loving teachers are a major strength of theirs!
Together with the K-8th grade Teachers and Leaders, we launched a Thrively site-wide Identity Project the best way we know how, with Teachers doing the project themselves.
At Thrively, we define identity as all the puzzle pieces that make us unique and dynamic. We designed this project with Integrity to take learners through four phases to deepen their understanding of themselves and their learning community. Throughout the entirety of this project, learners are working to answer the essential question, Who am I? Each phase of the project is a collection of Thrively online lessons, supplemental whole group offline lessons, and fun games that support community building and strengths finding.
Working through the project today gave Integrity Charter School teachers a first hand experience into the why and how behind the project, connect and build community with their team, and opportunities to reflect as a team on how to best scaffold lessons to meet the needs and interests of their learners.
We are thrilled to work with Integrity Charter School Teachers and Learners and watch this project unfold and take shape in the coming weeks. We are confident that this partnership will be a model for many other schools looking to implement high-quality learning experiences for students as they build out a year with Thrively. Contact the Thrively Team if you would like additional information about getting started with the Thrively Identity Project.