I have two teacher friends who have been complaining a lot. As a friend, I can say that they are wonderful people and likely very frustrated. As a teacher, I can understand their frustration. I read a lot and the state of education is in shambles. But this is a post for another day.

Both of my teacher friends are frustrated because they are treated as other than the experts that they are. Both are teaching outside of their subject areas, which also means they are teaching outside of the tested core areas. This means oversized classes and frequently covering classes.

They both recently have begun working at new jobs so administration does not know how good these ladies are at teaching. Both had extraordinary test scores with ordinary, southern, urban children. Both ladies value critical thinking skills and get angry with drill and kill. I have on many occasions been told that I am creative, but these ladies lessons have definitely blown me away! When I was considering taking a middle school position, they were going to be my support system! (And every time a teacher changes grades, I think that is helpful.)

I think that what is going on with these ladies is that someone has decided what they need and then used these ladies to fill that need. Notice I said USED. Both ladies are feeling used. They are also feeling unappreciated. It is causing them stress and unhappiness. However, giving them the opportunity to serve in a way compatible with their interests, abilities, and talents would be more beneficial.

See, this is the problem with needs based living. It is deficit based. It really reduces self esteem and motivation. It, therefore, inherently reduces quality, effectiveness, and consequently efficiency.

Now, where the rubber meets the road is when people's strengths are used to meet the needs of the organization, or where their strengths are used used as the prior knowledge upon which new knowledge is built. Students strengths are used almost as a bridge to make the new knowledge relevant and meaningful.

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