#6 – Gather professional intelligence
A professional intelligence journal can send you from excellent to ‘superhero’ status, very quickly.
But guess how many teachers have even heard of ‘Professional Intelligence’? – Almost none.
It works like this: Get a notebook or use a computer. Assign each page to one student (so if you have 200 students, then that’s 200 pages). Write non-confidential information on each page as the year progresses:
- Birthdays (so that you can say ‘happy birthday’ on a kids birthday – a massive rapport-building strategy)
- Hobbies and interests
- Goals, aspirations and dreams (e.g. which university the student wants to go to)
Use your professional intelligence to:
- Strike up conversations with your students during lessons when activities are happening or even at impromptu times such as when you’re on duty or walking around school. This will show that you’re interested in their well-being and that you remember what they’ve said. Kids and young adults love being listened to and, deep down, they all want to be recognised and admired for their skills and abilities.
- Inform your lesson planning by dividing the class into skills groups for activities, or even link the hobbies and interests of your kids to the content.
- Speak with students when they ‘slip-up’ or fall behind. I remember once having a one-to-one conversation with a 17-year-old boy who wanted to be a restaurant manager one day. His attitude and focus had been slipping in class, so I had a one-to-one chat with him. I reminded him of the dream and goal he once told me – that he wanted to be a restaurant manager. The effect was profound and deep, and he quickly put himself back on track.
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