This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post.
Enneagram type 3, the performer, or the achiever.
A few words to describe this type:
Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type three, you’re the charmer of the class. Obtaining the highest achievement is your ultimate goal, and merely speaking of plans and “what-ifs” can drive you crazy, jumping into action is what you would rather be doing. As you speak with your peers it can be fast-paced and exciting if it’s an assignment you are particularly steered towards. You work well in groups, yet you are constantly driven by fear that you’ll fail, whether it’s in your peer’s eyes, or if your classmates will be the reason you fail an assignment.
How to get the most out of your education as a type three.
Find ways for praise- be open with your teachers about your need for feedback.
Choose a career path you are passionate about.
Hands-on school work is ideal.
Find how certain topics of study can be applied to your real life.
Be patient with peers that may not be as energetic and driven as you may be.
“Threes are often successful and well liked because, of all the types, they most believe in themselves and in developing their talents and capacities.”
– The Enneagram Institute
Type 3’s go to type 6 in growth and type 9 in stress.
Are you a type 3? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment?
If you’re an educator out there, please tell me you’ve heard of the #clearthelist campaign. If you haven’t please look into it! If you have, please make a wishlist!! Some background to the #clearthelist idea: one teacher in Texas named Courtney Jones used her social media as a powerful, powerful tool to share her Amazon wishlist with friends and family of different items she would need in her classroom. Which then spread to her sharing the idea as far and wide as she could.
Teachers spend so much money out of pocket on supplies that are so beneficial to their students. And on top of that, there are so many generous donors out there willing to help how they can. Courtney’s goal was to connect the two, and she has very, very successfully!
This campaign has gone so viral, even celebrities are posting about it.
Sometimes, big companies choose one #clearthelist to actually…. Clear the list! Like how T-Mobile decided to help this teacher out. What warms my heart the most is that she turned around and tried to pay it forward to as many teachers as she could.
What an amazing project started by this teacher! We love innovative thinkers who can use social media for good (for example, have you seen our yearly scholarship?)
Look how excited teachers get over these donations!
For the past two school years, I have dedicated a small amount of money to donate to other’s #clearthelist Amazon wishlists. I typically donate to friends and family first, and then I choose a stranger from social media to donate to.
Finding Amazon wishlists to donate to can be so easy for you as well!
-Ask your friends and family that are educators if they have an Amazon wishlist they can share with you.
– Do a quick social media search (on basically any social media site) with the hashtag #clearthelist. Read through other teacher’s stories and why they need the materials they do. Then choose one to donate to!
There are Amazon lists with $3 items, and some with $500+ items. Even just sparing $3 for an educator can make the biggest difference in their classroom!
Do you have any success stories with #clearthelist you want to share? Leave it in the comments! We would love to hear!
Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here.
Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Kami Mecham. Kami has been teaching for twelve years, eight of those years were teaching 3rd grade, three years teaching 4th grade, and now she is in her second year of 2nd grade!
Kami also has a job as an instructional coach. She loves that she not only teaches full time, but is able to interact with other teachers as a mentor and coach. Another exciting thing about Kami is that she did her student teaching in Washington D.C. After her student teaching, she came back to Utah to start her career as a teacher and instructional coach.
What is your favorite thing about teaching this age/subject?
“Although it sounds cheesy, my favorite thing about teaching elementary school is the kids: the girl who wears her new dress on picture day and twirls as she walks in the classroom; the boy who has a “lucky hat” that he says helps him do his best reading; the students who cheer each other on when the math problems are hard. The students make me excited to get up each morning and I feel lucky to play a small role in helping them reach their potential!”
What is one of your favorite ways to utilize technology in the classroom?
“Technology is a great engagement tool in the classroom. My favorite way to use technology is to provide experiences that will engage students in the curriculum and encourage an excitement for the learning. I believe that even young students can learn to use technology productively and can benefit from its use. Some specific ways I engage students with technology include QR codes, apps to record the students reading, guided research experiences, and games that provide real-time data.”
If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?
“Choosing just one children’s book to recommend is definitely a challenge but I absolutely love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. The character of Edward Tulane has been a favorite with my students as he discovers his ability to love. Using this book to spark conversations of love, friendship, acceptance, and understanding in my classroom has provided some of the most authentic discussions I have had with my students and has served as a foundation of building unity within the classroom.”
What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching?
“Looking back on my first year of teaching, I wish someone would have told me that it is ok to have fun and enjoy the small moments. Teaching is hard. Teaching is exhausting. Teaching can be overwhelming. With all of that, I wish someone would have helped me see that I could put in the hard work to be an effective teacher while also having fun with my students. While it is important to do the hard work and it is normal to feel overwhelmed, I have since learned I am a better teacher when I take a step back, have fun, and enjoy my job. I would have loved for someone to tell me I didn’t have to have a “perfect” classroom year one (or any year really) in order to make a positive impact for my students. Teaching is hard but teaching is also exciting, fun, and rewarding!”
Who influenced you most to choose a career education?
“There wasn’t just one person or one moment that inspired me to pursue a career in education. I always wanted to be a teacher, although my reasons have changed over the years. I attribute this desire to the amazing examples of great teachers I had in my life. Mrs. Stratton, my third grade teacher, who gave each student a nickname and affectionately called me “Camerilla” for many years even after I left her classroom. Mrs. Ivie, my second grade teacher, who had the most amazing stuffed dinosaurs we got to hold while we were reading. Mrs. Gamble, my fourth grade teacher, who brought the Oregon trail unit to life. All of these teachers, and many more, showed me what an educator can be and made me want to be part of something bigger. Their positive influence continues to inspire me today.”
What are the benefits you’ve seen in collaborating with other teachers?
“Collaboration opens doors. When professionals come together with a common purpose, the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite things is being part of a collaborative brainstorming session where a team meets together with a question, problem, or goal to tackle. I love watching different team members bring their own perspective, building on each other, and creating an end result that is more effective than anyone imagined at the beginning. Successful collaboration allows for each member of a team to add their individual strengths to a larger whole.”
“I am lucky to get to participate in collaboration as a teacher and as an instructional coach and I have seen the process increase instructional effectiveness, improve student outcomes, and build school or classroom culture many times. I especially love collaborating about engagement strategies, room transformations, and ways we can create an exciting and welcoming environment for our students.”
How do you use student voice in your classroom and what outcomes have you seen from it?
“Classroom meetings are a big way I use student voice in my classroom. We have class leaders who lead our meetings as we discuss things that are going awesome and other things that we can improve on. This is a safe opportunity for students to voice concerns and also help come up with solutions.”
“Collecting and responding to student questions is another way I use student voice. As students ask questions throughout our units, I use those questions to drive my instruction and guide our lessons to those things my students are interested in and ready for, while also covering the required curriculum and standards.”
What has been one of your favorite teaching moments so far?
“There are so many! One moment near the top of the favorite list was when a student, who had spent the first half of the school year telling me he couldn’t read, came to school one morning with a book in hand and asked if he could read it to the class. That moment really summed up why I do what I do: help my students realize their potential, help them build their confidence, and provide them with the skills to then leave my classroom and tackle the world.”
What is a favorite unit you teach with your students?
“When I think of some of my favorite units that I have taught, a particular third grade math unit stands out. This also happens to be one of my favorite examples of the power of collaboration. As a team, we knew we had a unit coming up on two-step word problems. This is a challenging unit and tends to be daunting to both students and teachers. Because of this, the third grade team decided we wanted to take a fresh, engaging approach to the unit. We brainstormed together, worked through a lot of ideas, and eventually came up with an idea even better than we had anticipated at the beginning. We decided to teach this unit with the theme of “magic.””
“We approached the two-step word problems with the twist of taking steps in magic tricks and our students became “mathmagicians.” Along with that we tied the magic theme into other areas with books and writing activities. An otherwise boring, daunting unit became fun and successful. My students thrived and their assessment scores reflected that. Not only did I get to dress up like a magician, but I also saw my students’ confidence grow throughout the process.”
Thank you for your insight Kami! I especially loved what she said about collaboration and how it opens doors when you work together! I agree wholeheartedly, and this is why I started Feature Friday! To spread the knowledge of teachers worldwide!
This is part of a series using enneagram in education. For more information on why enneagram in education, refer to this post.
Enneagram type 2, the helper, or the giver.
A few words to describe this type:
People Pleaser. Emotional Connection. Relationships. Feelings. Attention. Empathetic. Aware of Others.
Let’s pull this into a classroom setting. If you’re an enneagram type two, you are in the heart of the group work. Constantly trying to work with peers and help them achieve the same academic greatness that you strive for. You often act differently in individual classes based on your teacher’s personality type or preference, because your goal is to aim to please. Role models in your desired profession are your driving force to continue in your education.
How to get the most out of your education as a type two.
Make personal connections with peers and teachers.
As well as personal connections with your schoolwork.
Be careful in group work not to take responsibility for all of the assignments, spread it evenly among peers.
If possible, choose smaller, more personal classroom settings.
Realize that your grades are not a personal reflection of what a teacher thinks about you.
Remember to meet your own needs before you can meet others’.
“[Two’s are] Encouraging and appreciative, able to see the good in others. Service is important, but takes care of self too: they are nurturing, generous, and giving—a truly loving person.”
– The Enneagram Institute
Type 2’s go to type 4 in growth and type 8 in stress.
Are you a type 2? What is important for you to have a successful learning environment?
A year ago I wrote a post about me being a helicopter mom with my daughter while she attempted to climb up the ladder of our playset in our backyard. This summer I had flashbacks to this article I posted when my son attempted the same thing. However, he is a year younger than she was at the time!
My son just turned a year old and isn’t walking yet, but climbs like it’s nobody’s business. He started reaching up high to grab rungs on the ladder, ready to scale it as fast as his little body would let him. As I rushed over and picked him up, the words from my past post rang in my head.
““Be careful! Be careful!” I kept telling her. All while her feet never left the ground.”
His two feet were firmly planted on the ground as I picked him up in the worry of him falling and failing. I hadn’t even given him a chance to try.
Realizing my mistake, I set him down and let him try again. He fumbled through the process of climbing, sometimes not knowing where his hands or feet would go. I would step in and guide him through this, then step back and watch him figure out the rest. Eventually, he did it! He made it to the top and beamed with pride over his accomplishment. (Cover photo of him satisfied with success.)
A few takeaways I learned from this:
We may figure things out as a parent or as a teacher, but we continually need to learn and grow and be reminded of those things. Just because I had the helicopter moment with my daughter a year previously did not automatically help me to know how to handle the exact same situation with my son. I needed the reminder.
The same can apply to our kids- they need reminders and to be told again, and again, and again. And we need to give them grace for this.
What is something with your students you have to relearn again every year? How do you let your kids fail to find success?
This is part of a series of interviews with our scholarship recipients for our 2020 Build A Better Future scholarship sponsored by Honors Graduation. We hope you will find their stories as inspiring as we do! For information on our 2020 program, click here”.
The top recipient for our scholarship this year is Caitlin Gill from Plano, Texas where she graduated from Plano West Senior High School. At the beginning of her Freshman year of high school, Caitlin became ill and was diagnosed with two chronic conditions. She experienced delays in her speech, reading and writing, and overall daily living activities. Caitlin was drawn to the special needs community at her school after she was made fun of for reading slow and not completing her work as quickly as other students, both results of her chronic health conditions. She started to notice that the kids in the special needs community were often overlooked and gained compassion for them. She became committed to improving the lives of those with special needs and giving them the resources to lead happy, independent, and fulfilling lives.
Students all across the world faced a different challenge during the spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our communities, ultimately sending everyone home. Many kids who weren’t able to attend school suffered during this and was something Caitlin took note of. The friends she made in the special needs community especially, rely on the day to day interaction with their peers. Her desire to continue to help them drove her to start F.L.EX.S.P.A.C.E.(which stands for Friendship. Lifestyle. Exercise. Special. People. Acceptance. Compassion. Experience.).
F.L.EX.S.P.A.C.E. is a virtual program where Caitlin leads daily exercises with her special needs friends over a zoom call. The main goal of this program is to provide friendship and inclusion, while also promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. When immersing herself in the special needs community, she was able to identify the different needs of each student. Some peers needed more encouragement, while others desired opportunities to feel needed. Despite these differing challenges, she realized that what they all need is at least one peer to look past their disabilities and embrace them with love and friendship. Through F.L.EX.S.P.A.C.E. she is able to be that peer for them. She advocates for their needs and encourages them to work towards their aspirations and recognize their own potential. Caitlin’s biggest hope for the program is that each of her peers walks away with a friend. Someone they can depend on to be kind and accepting. Caitlin has noticed a positive change within many of her peers. At school, she noticed they were tired, overwhelmed, and didn’t interact with each other. Within the first two weeks of the zoom workouts, they were expressing themselves more and had achieved overall happiness within themselves and with life.
Caitlin will be attending Texas Woman’s University in the fall of 2020. With staying local to her community, she will be able to continue growing the F.L.EX.S.P.A.C.E. program while attending school. She would eventually like to hold in-person activities once it is safe to do so. While this is a program she started at her home, she has close relationships with teachers at Plano West and hopes to be able to implement F.L.EX.S.P.A.C.E. in a school setting.
Someone shared this YouTube video with me of a group of 9 to 13 year olds singing a cover of this song to essential workers. They are thanking doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, and more, in the most tender-hearted way.
To all of you teachers out there on the front lines, sanitizing desks, iPads, and markers just to make it through the school day. The teachers navigating Zoom to teach students. To those early childhood educators working out creative ways to still make toys and play a part of the classroom. To the college professors doing everything they can to follow school protocol, and encouraging your students to do the same. The professors pre-recording lectures for students to watch online.
To those risking their lives.
To those who are starting their first year of teaching all over again (p.s. that’s all teacher’s this year).
To the overwhelmed and the underpaid.
Please listen to this song.
“No matter what you’re facing, you are my inspiration. You’re the fire that doesn’t know how to back down.”
Never. Ever. Give. Up.
These kids need you now more than ever. You’ve got this.
Please share with a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, a delivery driver, a grocery store worker, or anyone else on the front lines who may need to hear this.