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September 19, 2016

5 Steps to a Growth Mindset

Are you striving for that perfect score on your observation from your principal? Wanting to have the highest scores in the school? Upset when a lesson goes wrong? Disappointed when you have a lot of behavior issues and you can't get control over them? Stack full of papers to grade and you don't know where to start? All of these things are felt by teachers every where. It is how we deal with these things that can change our growth mindset. It starts with us as teachers changing our fixed mindset to a growth mindset before we can help our students have a growth mindset.

1. Accept yourself for who you are.

Whoa! This is a tough one! As teachers we are always striving to be the best and coming up with the best lessons to help our students learn. Failure is not accepted well seeing we are observed by administrators and placed under a microscope for every little move we make. Learning to accept yourself for who you are and accepting our imperfections is important. If we hide behind our weaknesses, we will never overcome them and be the best we can be! 

2. Replace the word "failing" with "learning"

We need to replace a lot of sentences in our vocabulary to have a growth mindset. It can be hard. Here a few:

Teaching our students these will help them understand ways to help them have a growth mindset. 

3. See challenges as your opportunities.

When we are faced with a challenge it can be easy to say we aren't going to try. Embrace the challenge as an opportunity to learn. Teaching our students that it is okay to try new things and try new strategies will help promote a growth mindset.  

4. Someone else's approval is not needed.

We all have witnessed many of our students holding their paper up asking "is this okay?". They are seeking approval. Try to get your students to be happy with their work and confident in themselves. We tend to need the approval of fellow teachers or administrators. We have an educational system that promotes this behavior. We really need to try to be happy with what we are doing and try to not ask approval of our work. Asking for help or advice is one thing, but seeking out approval can hinder our growth mindset. 

5. Reflect...reflect...and reflect.

Do you have a time for your students to reflect during the day? Every day our students should reflect on their learning. I know as teachers we are not given any time to reflect. We have meetings, class, students often eating with us, recess duty, running around checking on this and that during prep, we have NO time. We need to make time. Yes, I know it is hard. A colleague of mine would always say during lunch how she wished she just had time to reflect. It is so true, it is vital we reflect on what happened throughout the day and what strategies worked and did not. Try using this reflection sheet with your students! 

I hope this was helpful to you and your classroom! Here are some great ways to help implement a growth mindset into your classroom.