Friday, January 23, 2015

Foundations in Leadership Program

Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other.   -John F. Kennedy

I have a passion for learning. Whether it's learning how to make a monogram on microsoft word (I've been designing my wedding programs), learning how to make pecan pralines (what in the world is "soft candy form"), or learning how to better myself for my students. I've been really blessed that YPA has created so many learning opportunites for me. Character Education training, Mentor training (twice), SAFE-T training, and now this week they sent me to the first part of my new leadership training.

My principal suggested the program to each of the lead teachers at our school. I was a little nervous to take on another responsibility with everything that is going on in my life right now. However, after the first thirty minutes of the program- I knew I had made the right choice. Wow! I had the best time and really enjoyed learning with some fellow school leaders. There are only two other teachers from my school doing the program, so I got to meet a lot of new ladies from around South Carolina. Our trainer is hysterical, I don't think I stopped laughing the entire time. I learn best when there's a smile on my face, so I knew this was going to be a good one.

We started off on the first day learning about our personalities (I'll get to that in a little bit). On the next day, we learned about our leadership styles (I'll tell you about this later too). Then we learned about our the strengths and weaknesses in our personality and leadership styles. We broke into groups depending on our personality traits and it was interesting to see how different everyone is. Even though each of us had been "called" to lead, we all have different traits. I learned to really appreciate the differences in others and not get offended when someone thinks differently than I do.

I know, I know... you're probably d.y.i.n.g. to know my personality test results. This is a real shocker people. Like, brace yourselves kind of shocker. I'll tell you the top three things that my personality/leadership tests revealed.

1. I'm an extrovert. I like to talk. A lot. On a scale of -30 to 30 (-30 being the most introverted you could be, and 30 being the most extroverted.... I'm a.... THIRTY. It says I enjoy "saying what I think, telling others how I feel, and thinking out loud." Lord, I'm talking out loud to myself as I write this. 

2. I like things in order. I want to do things from start to finish. I like to make to-do lists, I like to stay organized. Goodness, yes this is me. I am way too "gotta do this the same way every time." 

3. I'm a direct leader. That means I'm competitive and want to get things done fast. No no, that can't be me. I'm not at all competitive ;)

If you know me, you already knew those three things. When I told my mom and Mr. R, they both said "who would've thought?" I'm a creature of habit, and I know what I want. 

So basically, the tests I took were 100% accurate. Scary accurate. But it really made me take a look at myself. When I was placed in the "extroverted" group, we talked about how sometimes we get self-concisous when talking with introverts because it might seem like they don't like us. That is me all day long. If I'm talking to someone and they're not as willing to talk as much as I am, I start questioning myself. When I work with others who aren't as "direct" as I am, I think "do they not care as much as I do?" But that's not the case at all. It's just that we're all different. We act differently and we work differently. 

I've been really blessed to be with the best second grade team in the world. I truly have never worked with such awesome teachers before. Being their team leader is the best job because they are so easy to work with. We get along great, we each pull our equal weight, and we always bring new ideas to the table. But it's sad to think that one day I will most likely work with a different team. Whether it's a move to a different city when Mr. R graduates, or just a different direction in my career, and I know I'll probably never have it as good as I do now. But the things I'm learning in my leadership program will help me for the rest of my life. I'm excited to see what else I'll learn!

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