A Proposal: A Strength-Based Teaching Credential

What would a Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change Teaching Credential look like?  What would it involve?   How would our values and beliefs about student success change?  How would a Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change credential program change the process of assessing, teaching, and designing experiential learning activities?  How would we help students identify and transform their greatest talents into strengths?  What do you think?  What are your ideas?  Record your comments below. 

Guiding Questions

  • How would teacher – administrator relations change?
  • How would teacher roles and responsibilities change?
  • How would public school structures and governance change?
  • How would teacher self-governance change?
  • How would teacher compensation, rewards, practices and procedures change?
  • How would we define intellectual development, academic achievement, and personal excellence? 

Strength-Based Teacher Education Question

How is Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change a new vision for society?  How does Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change influence our political, economic and social culture?  How does Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change create a Strength-Based Justice Society?

What does it mean for teachers to study Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change pedagogy, student success, and school community relations?  How do the Seven Factors for Creating a Culture of Success influence the art and science of teaching?  

What does Strengths-Based Teacher Driven Change mean for individual freedom and responsibility to create a Strength-Based Justice teaching and learning environment for all children?  

Strength-Based Teacher Driven Curriculum

Preservice teachers will participate in a strength-based cohort to explore, identify, and utilize the requisite knowledge and skills to further the development of their own talents into strengths.  

Preservice teachers will explore, experiment, and create various pedagogy options and possibilities for the appropriate knowledge and skills to transform talents into strengths. A pedagogy teacher education curriculum will also examine a new teaching and learning strength-based social architecture.

Preservice teachers will select strength-based research courses to complement their own strengths and positive experiences as they examine various strength-based models to sustain a strength-based teaching and learning environment.

Preservice teachers will take the following strength-based courses:

A Strength-Based Curriculum Core:

• Intellectual Strength-Based History

• Strength-Based Learning Theories

• Strength-Based Curriculum  

• Strength-Based School-Community

• Strength-Based Independent Research

A Strength-Based Teacher Education Core:

• Teacher and Strength-Based Knowledge and Change

• A Strength-Based Justice Learning Environment

• Policy in Strength-Based Teacher Driven Change

• Research in Strength-Based Teacher Driven Change

• Strength-Based Intellectual History

• Appreciative Inquiry

Positive Deviance

• Strength-Based Brain Research

• Strength-Based Natural Talents

• Strength-Based Mentoring and Collaboration 

School Family Relations

School Family Relations

School Family Relations

Recently, the Director at the Institute for Teaching, Dick Gale, was presenting to a cohort of teacher leaders in CTA’s Instructional Leadership Corps, and he mentioned home visits. If one were to look around the room, he or she may have seen blank stares, looks of questioning, or fragments of curiosity.

Do teachers still do home visits? Have I ever done a home visit? What would that entail? How would I start that?

Today’s teacher might spend more time worrying about seeing their student in the local supermarket than what several know as a strength-based home visitation.

What is a strength-based home visitation?

Generally, a  home visit comes from a place of care, compassion or empathy. A teacher might want to make a home visit to a student who recently discovered that she or a family member might have to struggle with a new diagnosis. Or, a teacher might want to make a home visit to share learning conditions. The strength-based factor, school family relations, is about making sure that parents and family members are a definitive part of the teaching and learning process.


For more insight on a CA home visitation program:  http://www.pthvp.org/who-we-are/our-history/


Future Oriented

Future Oriented


From the teacherdrivenchange.org website…

“Under a strength-based framework, future-oriented teachers are starting with the following:

(1) Finding and noticing what is working in a student’s life,

(2) Offering students an awareness that they can have about their future

(3) Reinforcing their ability to make decisions and choices that impact their future, and

(4) Believing in their natural talents that support the future.

Future-oriented means that students have a dramatic, positive image of the future. Students who can visualize a successful future are more likely to be successful. While this statement may sound simple, straightforward and to the point, it has gone virtually unnoticed in the world of testing, outcome-based standards and curriculum-centered instruction.

Additionally, the promise of a bright future is not something that all students possess, and certainly is not a guarantee when students showcase successful scores on a standardized test. Moreover, classroom teachers find themselves in a unique position where they can quite possibly and potentially support a student in the creation of a positive future-oriented model.

Through modeling, teachers are able to inspire confidence, self-reliance, and responsibility – factors critical to a future orientation. The challenge is to find the time and opportunity to create a learning environment that encourages a culture where all students believe they can be successful.

Our schools are much more than testing industries and classroom teachers should neither be proctors nor babysitters. In addition, if the past has taught us anything, facts, figures, concepts, and theories are transitory. Teachers, with parents and other adult figures, can create a culture of success for students through narratives, storied in a number of different ways by using various metaphoric expressions, such as vocation, hope, love, and change.  Interpreted in different ways, metaphoric images offer students the opportunity to make sense of their own personal stories: stories in their own prevailing temporal and cultural context. Through narratives, students are more likely to hear and give meaning to their own voice – a voice that provides a pathway and guides them towards the future.”

Student Relations

Student Relations

When someone uses the word ‘traditional’ to describe a public school’s setting, they might be referring to classrooms that have desks in rows or the teacher standing at the front of the room. Over the last decade, teachers have seen a number of articles, periodicals, websites, and more talk about school culture with few asking the teachers themselves what it means to teach traditionally–and whether or not it’s detrimental to the students.

Today’s school reforms overwhelmingly include the desire for children to be working collaboratively in groups. Researchers and theorists have written the what and why on collaborative networks, collaborative groups, and collaborative settings.

However, these reformist, theorists and researchers lack teacher buy-in when several fail to remember the most important reason, the ‘why’ for collaborative work: Student Relations.

In a public school classroom, the creation of strength-based student relations requires a teacher’s ability to create a culture in the classroom where students not only feel valued by their teacher but also their peers. The value and validation comes from a teacher’s lead with a strength based approaches.

At the beginning of the school year, strength-based approaches might include strengths assessments or discussions wrapped around strengths.

By the middle of the school year, strength-based approaches might include students knowing which of the peers have the strengths that they need while working on a specific project. Students know how their peers complement or do not complement their strengths. Students know who to work with, when and how. Students drive the success.

By the end of the year, students can feel confident that positive student relations within and amongst the classroom means that students see one another for their strengths, work together using a strength-based approach and care for one another’s success.

In classrooms that have strength-based approaches in the area of group work, students know their strengths, can attach themselves to a role, and seek not only to create goals for themselves but also to support teammates with overarching project endeavors.


“Strength-Based Justice” Summit

Attend the Moreno Valley Think Tank “Strength-Based Justice” Summit

Through equity, all students have the opportunity to be successful and this goes way beyond a curriculum or set of standards.  Join with other CTA members to create a new structure and governance public school system where all students have the opportunity to create their own culture of success.  While maintaining our core values we will (1) Discover the most positive forces for success, (2) Outline our visions, (3) Design and invent new school-wide structures and governance models, and (4) Deliver on a plan to implement and make our designs a reality. Participants can focus on their classroom, school, or district.  CTA members will work on their own and in teams.   Click the comment section below if you would like to participate or have questions. 

Dates: April 20-21, 2018
Time: 9:30-4:00 each day

One Unit of Credit is an option 

CTA Regional Resource Center
430 Vanderbilt Way
San Bernardino, CA


Instructional Leadership Corp

As I reflect on two days of learning at ILC I am so happy, proud excited to be a part of such a wonderful group of educators. The amount of innovative ideas out there never stop amazing me. I participated in a session about the the Institute for Teaching. I learned about the IFT about 7 years ago.  Ironically at the second Teacher Leader Cohort, which preceded ILC.  I cannot help but wonder WHY don’t CTA members know about the IFT. How else can we get the word out? I think CTA President Eric Heins summed it up perfectly, “it’s all about relationships”! All of us who know the great work of IFT need to build those relationships with our fellow educators and get the word out!  It’s time the masses of CA Educators learn what their union has done for them in advocating for students and strength based teacher driven change.

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