As I talked about in my most recent book post, one thing which really struck me was the discussion of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.
Teaching at a school for kids with Learning Disabilities, I like to begin the year by discussing these intelligences. Most of my students have come from schools where they’ve been bullied and have felt inferior and out-of-place because of their LDs and talking about these different types of intelligence helps them to see that everyone is smart in different ways.
Depending on the level of kids, you can also find a bunch of online assessments to see what intelligences they are strongest in. This is interesting for them and can also help you plan out strategies to help reach them throughout the year. Here are some links to a few assessments I like:
Having kids recognize their strengths can also work in helping them start thinking about future careers. I find this helpful in relating school to their future aspirations and removing the so oft heard “why do I need to go to school anyway?” comment from classrooms. Here’s a very simple example of how the intelligences relate to possible future career choices.