Verbal, logical and intrapersonal. Those were the three categories where I scored the highest on the Multiple Intelligences Test. When I gave the same test to my students, their strengths as a class only overlapped in one area.
If you are like me, you've taken the test and even given it out a few times, but maybe not in awhile. There are two main reasons to do so, though:
#1: Your students should know that while school targets and rewards certain intelligences over others, everyone has strengths that should be pursued, appreciated and recognized. Students want to feel successful and be seen as capable. Giving them this test recognizes that they are capable.
#2: Knowing what your students' strengths are helps us teach better. Once we know our students' strengths we can create and pursue opportunities where students can shine and show that we appreciate all of our students for the diverse set of strengths they bring to the classroom.
A couple years ago I attended a workshop with Jeffrey Wilhelm, who has written extensively about literacy, including how to engage the disengaged. He shared a story about a young boy who would not do a bit of work in the classroom. During an interview, he told Mr. Wilhelm that if the teacher ever showed a bit of interest in the things that were important to him, that he would return the favor.
Getting to know our students' multiple intelligences now will interrupt core lessons during crunch time in many of our school year,. Perhaps this blog post is ill timed coming so late in the school year. Nonetheless, I feel it is so important, that I decided to write it anyway. Maybe it will serve as a welcome reminder to some teacher out there of how important it is to take time to see the best in our students. Take time to enjoy your students. If this blog entry doesn’t speak to you right now, tuck it away until August when you are planning for 2014-2015.