Affinity Diagram Materials: pencils or pens; different colored small post-it notes; different colored larger post-it notes; tables or large chart papers. Procedures: The entire activity is to be done SILENTLY and without gestures, pantomiming, etc. You will be grouped into groups of 4-5. Each group member will be given different colored, small post-its. Each group will be given one stack of large post-its.
2. You will be given a prompt. 3. On each small post-it, write a 1-3 word phrase that comes to mind when thinking of the prompt and then place the post-it note on the table/chart paper. Keep doing this until you run out of ideas. Write one phrase per post-it note. 4. Once you run out of ideas, start organizing all of the post-its into categories. On the larger post-it notes, write the name of each category. Move the smaller post-it notes into the “appropriate” categories. You may move any of the post-it notes (even those of your peers’). 5. At the end of the activity, share your categories and phrases.
Andrew Peterson says in his book The Next Ten Minutes: 51 Absurdly Simple Ways to Seize the Moment “Writing a letter slows us down to remember what communication really feels like. When we read our thoughts on paper, we see ourselves not just from our habitual subjective perspective but also from the outside. Psychologists call this “reflective functioning.” It gives us the capacity to both feel an experience and to make sense of it.”
Andrew Peterson’s Letter Writing Tips: (Adapted by L. Spalding) 1. Choose a message and recipient; in this case a teacher that made a difference in your life. 2. Do a mental rough draft. This will help you decide on what to include in your letter and can assist you in your professional autobiography for the teaching profession. 3. Write it down. Seize this opportunity! 4. Seal the deal! Reread your letter and place it in an envelope. School addresses can be found online at district sites. 5. Wait! Think about the small thrill you get when you receive a personal letter. Know that you are giving this to someone else who has had a significant impact on your life!
THINK AND REFLECT: What were some of the qualities of your most outstanding teachers? How have teachers influenced your decision to teach? What are some early experiences that continue to influence what and how you plan to teach? In this time of Thanksgiving, let’s take this opportunity to be thankful and show our former teachers how much they meant to us. Start writing an email or note that you will send to a special teacher now!
Things to Keep In Mind When Writing Your Autobiography: Note your full name, your current position and location. Use descriptive words such as hard-working, team player, positive, or compassionate. List characteristics or accomplishments that made a former teacher stand out and in turn, caused you to want to become a teacher yourself. Possibly share challenges you overcame, such as an illness, injury, or a problem like shyness, that exemplify your character.
Ask yourself questions like these: What did your decision to become a teacher mean to you at that time? What about teaching interested or attracted you? What are some central teaching ideas that guide you? What do you imagine you’ll be doing in five or ten years? What are some early experiences that influenced your decision to teach? Did your family play a role in your decision to become a teacher? End your autobiography on an uplifting note. What were some of the qualities of your most outstanding teachers? How have teachers influenced your decision to teach? What are some early experiences that continue to influence what and how you teach or plan to teach? What are some central teaching ideas that guide you? What do you imagine you’ll be doing in five or ten years? What are some of your early experiences that influenced your decision to teach? Did your family play a role in your decision to become a teacher? Find a quote that sums up your view of being a teacher or working with young children. End your autobiography on an uplifting note.
Find a quote that sums up your view of being a teacher. “A teacher’s role is not to replicate suffocating conditions that stunt self- awareness and self knowledge but to set up the conditions that will inspire, that will literally give breath to students’ visions of themselves as ‘knowers’. (Mitchell, C., Weber, S.,& O'Reilly-Scanlon, K., p. 187) “Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” (George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950) “The only way education is going to change is if the classroom teacher makes it happen!” (William Glasser, M. D.)