Mindset. What’s next for me?
Mindset. What’s Next for Me?
If you are in the teaching business, and I am pretty sure you are, if not you would not be reading this, you heard all about this fixed mindset and growth mindset talk. You sat through all those PDs, watched videos on YouTube, and even read articles about it. It is all clear; a fixed mindset is wrong, a growth mindset is good.
After all the talk, and the reading and the watching, you had even questioned if your AP was talking about your resistance to implement this new reading program the school is planning on adopting. OK, I have good news, this has nothing to do with you or your attitude! It’s all about the students. It’s all about the reason we drag ourselves out of bed each morning, and we make it to our classrooms.
If this is about the students, it is about our practice in the classroom. So how all this talk would affect my teaching practice? Here are a just a few tips.
- Think how you encourage your students in the classroom. Do not praise their intelligence, praise their effort. Research suggests that when we praise a person’s intelligence is less likely they will take risks, thus will not achieve their highest potential. If we praise how hard our students work on something, is likely they will tend to put on more effort on their work.
- Create a safe environment that normalizes mistakes. We are learning new things; mistakes are unavoidable. Encourage risk-taking and questioning. Watch what you grade!
- Forget the old theories about intelligence and IQs. Intelligence is a theoretical construct. It is not something we are born with and cannot change, like our eye color or height. The silver line, I will never be tall, but I can get smarter on something!
- Talk with your students about the brain. Teach them about neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to create new neuropathways based on new learning experiences.)
- Provide plenty of feedback on the student’s work. Focus on the learning process more than in the final product. Again, think about what work should receive a grade and what work is part of the learning process.
- Allow your students to move around, and build time for brain brakes in your schedule. You can achieve this with station work where the students need to move from one location to other every so many minutes. Group rotations, and unstructured transition time while you play some music.
- Provide opportunities to work with partners and teach each other.
So, these are some tips. I am sure you are doing many of these things, just because are good practice. Some of the ideas may sound great but can be hard to implement. Just go one step at a time with what you feel comfortable and let your brain grow!