Katie Heath is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.
For the past few months, staff members at KDP have been meeting in small groups to share, brainstorm, and discuss various topics relevant to our profession today. Hearing the different perspectives of colleagues as well as taking time to work with those outside of our specific departments has been a truly rewarding experience.
The focus of our most recent small group meeting was to examine our individual personality traits and discuss how these traits impact our interactions with others. We each answered a short questionnaire to learn which of four personality styles (Relater, Initiator, Analyzer, and Driver) we aligned with most closely.
Understanding the different personality styles reminds us of the unique qualities we each possess. Sharing our strengths, challenges, and viewpoints enables us to work together more effectively as we take a step back to see a situation from multiple angles. We each shared our own personality type and then discussed both the personalities we tend to gravitate toward and those we sometimes struggle to collaborate with naturally. Just being open about our unique differences further develops a sense of community within the office. It has been interesting to hear how many times this month’s topic has come up in casual conversation even after our meetings had ended!
Now that we have spent a few months in our professional learning communities (PLCs), it is easy to reflect and see the positive outcomes these short meetings have had on us not only as individual staff members, but also culturally as a whole. I love working with the Chapter Services team, but an advantage of these professional learning communities is that they have provided me with opportunities to get to know other colleagues outside of my department and see the perspectives of coworkers in their different roles here at KDP. We schedule the meetings for a time that works well for everyone in the group and find a location to meet off-site. Panera has been a popular meeting spot, which my appetite always appreciates. 🙂
Our discussion of various personality styles highlighted once again the important role that teachers play and how much is expected of educators today. Teachers are required to exhibit all four of the personality types we discussed, as they are the leaders of their classrooms, yet also must be able to analyze situations and listen and relate to their students. Educators have to be very adaptable, working with children of every personality type regardless of how difficult that may be.
If you do not already have a professional learning community established for your school, grade level, or even classroom, I would encourage you to think about how this learning strategy could be used effectively in your career. You will be amazed at what you will learn both about and from your colleagues, and you also can model this collaborative learning approach with your students.
If you’d like to learn more about PLCs, we can help! Search “PLCs” in the KDP Resource Catalog to find articles and webinars to get you started.