Coloring Beyond the Lines

Often, we do inventories and think about them within the context of the experience of taking the test. We talk about it, say it is “spot on” and then the in-service or lesson is over and the information is left on the paper, forgotten in the back of the folder, recessed until reassessed.

photo credit: Old Dominion University

However, the purpose of this information is to push it past Bloom’s first levels of Understanding and Comprehension and into application. When working from a place of application, then we are empowered with information that backs up the way we work best and it gives power to students who, perhaps, work and think differently from the five different teachers they encounter each day.

What does it mean for a person who scored as a Gold in the True Colors Personality Inventory, and she is in a class led by an Orange? Golds like concrete and stable rules. Oranges are spontaneous and rule breakers. If this is a teacher in a core subject in which the student is depending on this class and grade for her GPA, there is natural anxiety that is induced each time she walks in the classroom. If the teacher is able to explain that he is an orange, how that impacts his class structure and offer opportunities for the gold to advocate for her needs, then there is an opportunity for a relationship of stability for the golds.

If we continue to push content without knowing who our students are as people, we are missing the mark. If we continue to push compliance, we will continue to be disappointed. If we want self-sufficient students who are able to critically analyze situations within our content areas, we have to ask them to start with the most valuable content: themselves.

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