Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Is Multi-tasking A Bad Idea?

July 1st, 2009

No matter what your primary Color, are you more of an Orange multi-tasker, or a Gold “one thing at a time” person? Your answer will probably decide whether you love or hate (and disagree) with some of the recent research on the issue, summarized in a Montreal Gazette article:

Not many years ago, multi-tasking was hailed as a breakthrough in efficiency. Now, some are comparing it to attention deficit disorder – yikes! The human brain, the latest research shows, is just not capable of performing two or more tasks simultaneously with any degree of efficiency. It gets agitated and distracted. The business world once embraced multi-tasking as a solution to demanding schedules. But the bloom is off that rose: A British study published in 2005 found that workers who were “distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”

The study’s author, University of London psychologist Glenn Wilson, also said that constantly breaking away from tasks to respond to e-mail or text messages has essentially the same effect on alertness as missing a night’s sleep. But would that be a big deal to an Orange anyway?

But there is more: Experts believe that children might be at risk of under-achieving because of out-of-control multi-tasking. Jordan Graftman of the U.S. Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke said this to Atlantic magazine: “Children (who) are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online, and watching TV, are not going to do well in the long run.” The story also quoted psychology professor Russell Poldrack that humans are “not built” to multi-task. “We’re really built to focus.”

Millions of Oranges will tell you that these findings are bullcrap, while Golds love the feedback that they are right in doing one thing at a time, doing it very well, and then moving on….

©George Boelcke, CCP

Missing Male Elementary Teachers

July 1st, 2009

This coming month, get ready for another wave of media stories about the very low numbers of male elementary teachers. In the school system, the vast majority of high school teachers are Gold, as are administrators. Greens tend to be the University professors, and Oranges really don’t become teachers in large numbers. The exceptions would be a “moving around” teaching position, such as welding, building construction, welding, drama, or definitely physical education, and maybe chemistry – where at least it’s fun to blow stuff up…

Blues are, by far, the largest group in the elementary school system, daycare, and kindergarten. But more than 90% of Blues are also female. That means there are simply not enough Blue males to get them to parity with Blue female teachers! (Just like there will never be significantly more females in engineering, or the I.T. fields, since Green females are an even smaller group than Blue males).

In Canada, according to Statistics Canada, men make up about 16% of elementary teachers. In the U.S. that’s a much smaller number, because Blues in the U.S. are less than half of those in Canada in the first place.

You will likely read some of the theories of why there are not more male elementary teachers. They range from the perception that it’s a “female” career, or that pay may be low and thus discourages men from entering the field in the first place. Not so, since there are millions of male teachers in higher grades.

But at the same time, there is no substantial evidence that these “missing” male teachers have any impact on marks or performance in school. It’s way more about the quality of a teacher of any Color, (and even more about teachers understanding the Colors of their students) than an issue of their sex. But it’s still sad that all those Orange kids in high school don’t have many Orange teachers who really understand them. And it’s just as sad that kids, in some way, miss an extra dimension of teaching without many Blue male teachers.

©George Boelcke, CCP

Stand-Up Desks in School?

June 1st, 2009

Kids, and especially Orange kids, fidget, and can’t sit still. Gee, you think? But a Minneapolis-St. Paul area teacher had an idea. Abby Brown wanted to do something way out of the box for her Grade 6 class to address these daily challenges.

What if kids could stand during her classes, instead of sitting? On her own initiative she designed a stand-up desk for her classroom, and had it built with the help of a local furniture store. It comes with a lever, just like office chairs, to adjust the stand-up desk to the height of each student.

The results have been amazing. The fidgeting has measurably decreased, her students can move around a bit, and are not nodding off, or daydreaming. The quality of the class work is up, and marks are measurably improved with such a simple, yet powerful idea. The ability to move around is huge for kids of all Colors, and with less physical activities and sports in many school districts, these so called activity-permissive classrooms may well be onto something.

Schools from California to North Carolina have begun using these desks, and many other school districts are making the trip to Browns’ classroom to see for themselves. If nothing else, it may be worth observing or experimenting at home. Is there a kitchen counter with stools your kids can try to use? It will let you observe for yourself if your kids are studying standing up, or sitting down. (Do keep in mind that the need of Gold and Green kids for a quite area to study will still be their first priority.)

©George Boelcke, CCP

Any Job For Any Color…But…

March 1st, 2009

At a recent seminar, a teenager shared that he wanted to become a pilot – like the movie Top Gun. Great – but there’s a big difference between a test pilot and a commercial pilot. Just like any Color can become a lawyer, but in vastly different specialties, there’s a big difference between these two types of pilots.

The purpose of a test pilot is to push the envelope until something goes wrong. Yet a commercial pilots’ main job is to worry about what could go wrong. That’s the reason they have massive checklists, fixed routines, an extensive walk-around, tons of policy manuals and time-tested, fixed procedures that are very much risk-averse. That’s a natural fit for a high Gold, and quite the opposite of an Orange test pilot whose job it is to find or create flaws and potential problems.

Yes, any Color can do any job, but if I’m boarding a flight and it’s an Orange pilot, well – let’s just say hopefully the co-pilot is high Gold… And just because someone can do a great job in their low Colors doesn’t mean it’s their passion, purpose or love. It doesn’t mean they find the job easy or a natural and comfortable fit for their personality, or that they’ll last.

As we discussed in a newsletter last year, many studies have shown that less than 20 percent of people who have a college or university degree are still in that field five years later. THAT has a lot to do with understanding their Colors BEFORE they enter college or university, before they become buried in student debt or become disillusioned and start to look for their real purpose and passion.

This Family HAS to Understand Colors

January 1st, 2009

“Hi George: We’re looking forward to being with you in Tulsa next week.  I thought I’d write a note about my four children, each a different color. So meet my family:

Georgia is Blue very involved with her church youth group, has a hard time saying “no” when asked to do something for them, to the point that she’s a little taken advantage of, loves children and just wants to be with them, especially helpful around the house right before company comes. She feels the pain of her friends when they’re having a hard time and just needs to be with them. She makes friends with her teachers and until she feels a friendship type bond with them, she has a very hard time being comfortable in their classroom. She often reaches out to make friends or spend time with people who aren’t the most outgoing.

My Green son Calvin had last years’ Christmas list as a spreadsheet, with rows for each type item he wanted and then the columns were labeled as: most wanted, would be nice, good and ok. In each column where the specific item was listed, he also included where it could be purchased and how much it cost – he found the least expensive place for each item online. Then he went over the spreadsheet with me for a long time. He is planning his high school courses based on what majors he might want in college, which are based upon a solid, well paying job that he’d enjoy. He likes to understand topics and subjects and have lengthy conversations about things. When he was three years old he learned to ride a bike with no training wheels and practiced for days falling off, so he’d completely know how to control a fall so he wouldn’t get hurt.

Martin, my Orange son wants to have fun! He’s not aware of peer pressure in middle school and loves having a good time with people. Deadlines for report? Oh, that’s when you both start and complete it. Likes to play games and always did – even when he was three years old he didn’t care if he won or lost a game, he just wanted to play a game. He’s very sweet and huggy – a bit of blue shining through. When he was a baby we used to call him “Mr. Happy.” He is considered gifted at school in the area of Language Arts.

My daughter Camille is so Gold and so NOT Orange. She likes dependable schedules and to know what’s going to happen when. If I try to change the routine, it really throws her for a loop and can ruin her day. It can take a long time for her to be comfortable with new people and each year before the first day of school, she wants to know what class she’s in, needs to meet the teacher and see where she’s going to sit.  She doesn’t like change at all. She’s VERY bright and wants to always get 100% on every assignment. She takes a long time to do her writing and has a very hard time making a “rough draft,” because she wants it to be a final draft the first time she writes. She gets migraine headaches due to stress that she puts upon herself and can’t understand why anyone would ever break a rule.

My husband is Green/Blue and I’m a VERY high Orange.  It’s a fun household with much respect and appreciation for each other. M.W.

Follow-Up to Colors and Birth Order

March 1st, 2008

Early last year I did a story on the connection of birth order and Colors. I was sure there were good arguments to be made that Golds would, or should, be a large group of firstborns. Yet a survey of more than 1,200 seminar participants showed no correlation at all.

Time Magazine ran a story last fall that did talk about birth order perhaps shaping a part of our destiny. Various personality testing does show that firstborns score really well on the dimension of temperament known as conscientiousness. That sense of responsibility, commitment and follow-through makes sense, as the oldest child often gets to have the least amount of time being a kid, before taking on some responsibilities around the house and with their siblings.

Later born siblings, on the other hand, score much higher on agreeableness – the ability to get along, something they certainly had to learn while growing up.

Research from Professor Ben Battner, an organizational psychologist at New York University found that even in the world of conservative corporate jobs, later-borns take a very different approach. Firstborn CEOs tend to do best in incremental improvements and working in a conservative slow and steady manner. Later-born CEOs are much better at transformational change, according to Battner. It’s the group that can tend to pursue riskier, more innovative and creative approaches.

Birth order profile excerpts, as featured in Time:

Oldest sibling:

  • May be better educated than younger siblings
  • Likelier to hold a professional position
  • More concerned with meeting parents’ expectations
  • Likelier to serve as family historian and guardian of aged parents

Middle sibling:

  • May take longer to choose a career than other siblings
  • Less connected to family, more to friends
  • May de-identify from firstborn, making opposite life choices
  • May lack parental recognition; may develop self-esteem issues

Younger sibling:

  • More tolerant of risk
  • Likelier to be artist, adventurer, entrepreneur
  • Often physically smaller than firstborns
  • Frequently funnier than other siblings

While we don’t know the extent of the study, we do know that personality types don’t lend themselves to right or wrong answers, or fitting us into four neat little boxes. But how many of these points hold true for your family?