Workplace Values
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Workplace Values: Seven Activities

Every teacher, every staff, and every school operates under a set of values.  Each time you consider a question like “What gives me job satisfaction?” or “What kind of a teacher do I want to be?  Or “What do I feel strongly about?” You are probing values issues.  Successful teachers and productive staffs develop a set of values that they believe to be vital to the interpersonal foundation of the workplace.  In essence, you are searching for fundamental answers to the question, “At work, what do I intrinsically hold dear for myself and how should I act to secure and maintain it?”

The best teachers and the most effective schools are values driven.

Objectives

  • To clarify your personal workplace values

  • To isolate values that drive your school

  • To consider values that lie at the core of professionalism

Activity One: Reflections

Write a short answer or response to the following questions and statements.  Your responses will help you begin the philosophical exploratory process.  Note: You may want to probe these questions with your mentor or a discussion group.

  1. Are your home and work values consistent?  In other words, do you act on the same values at work as you do at home?

  2. Is your view of your values shared by your colleagues?  Do they see in you the same high priority values that you see in yourself?

  3. Are there particular values that seem to permeate your professional workplace?  If yes, identify them.

  4. How has teaching altered your values?

  5. Define a “values driven” organization.  What values drive your school?

  6. List your work goals.  In other words, what do you want to get out of a teaching career? Your goals and your values should be synchronized.

Activity Two: Identifying Values  

Check ten of the workplace values listed below to complete the following sentence: “As I think about my career in teaching, ______________ is very important to me.”

Workplace Values

Adoration

Helpfulness

Relationships

Authenticity Identity Responsibility
Authority Independence Risk

Autonomy

Innovation Satisfaction
Challenge Knowledge Security
Character growth Leadership Self-actualization
Control Loyalty Stability
Creativity Mental stimulation Structure
Economic stability

Morality

Success

Empathy

Order

Teamwork
Esteem Pleasure Trust
Ethics Pride Truthfulness
Fair-mindedness Rationality Winning
Happiness Recognition Wisdom

Activity Three: Primary Vaules From the values listed in Activity Two, select five primary values.  Then discuss how each shapes you as a teacher and as an employee.  Complete the chart below to determine how each translates into your teaching and/or your behavior in the workplace.

Value

Value Impact

Example: Risk Taking

Innovation and experimentation characterize my lesson planning.

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

Activity Four: Values Challenge Relate a workplace story where you confronted a conflict that challenged your values.  How did you resolve the conflict?  How would you have done things differently?

Activity Five: Personification Flush out the following concept: Personify your school by imagining it as a character in a play.  Write a character analysis, focusing on the values that motivate your school’s personality.  Below is a sentence to get you started:

“As __________________ (your made-up name for your school’s character) enter the stage, it is obvious to all that he/she is driven by…”

Activity Six: Values Brainstorming In a small group of colleagues, brainstorm values that you feel should drive the workplace.  Record your suggestions on newsprint and then rank them as a group.  Do the following:

  1. Take your top seven brainstormed values and list them in the left-hand column on the Values Profile Card below.
  2. Participants should rank each value (1-5) and record the score in one of the boxes next to each listed value: 1=low importance, 2=below average importance, 3=average importance, 4=above average importance, 5=very strong importance.
  3. Based on the averages for each value, rank them.
  4. Using the Values Profile Card data, draw conclusions about the values that drive you and your professional colleagues.

Value

Individual Rankings

Average

             
             
             
             
             
             
             

Activity Seven: Values Profile Card At the end of each semester, check your Values Profile Card to remind yourself of your personal commitment. Occasionally, take a reading of the values that drive your school. Informally ask colleagues what they believe to be the key values of the organization. Is there a solid match between your personal values and prevailing school values?  If there is a disconnect, consider how can you work to help remedy the gap.

 

Professional Development Activities (Select a category listed below)

 

 

 

 

 

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