Growth Mindset (2.0)
Just as the apps on your phone continue to grow and update to become better than their pervious versions, my ideas on Growth Mindset have changed since my original post (and I'm sure they will continue to grow and develop in the future). Just as with apps, I am not erasing my old ideas of what I know about having a growth mindset, I am simply improving what I already have and adding new learning and ideas to my original post.
Please Enjoy Growth Mindset 2.0 (this post) and share any new learnings and ideas you may have below!
Helping students to develop their growth mindsets is important to teach because it will help students to feel comfortable taking risks, trying something even if they may be wrong and listening & using feedback to enhance their learning.
I have recently been put to the test with my growth mindset through my Digital Leading and Learning masters program at Lamar University. When taking my classes, I have had encouraging professors that had high expectations, a motivating and enthusiastic attitude and continuous opportunities to improve learning. We were never “done” with an assignment and when we received feed forward to make our work better. There had been times in the course where I had felt overwhelmed with the amount and depth of work for my courses and was not sure where we were going with our lessons. I had to remind myself and refer back to Carol Dweck's Mindset book, if something is challenging, I am learning. In the end, I have realized how much I learned along the way and how I am excited to continue on my learning journey.
I hope to promote this excitement and growth mindset to my students just as my professors have done for me. One of the biggest ways I have learned to do this is by modeling for my students what a growth mindset is. Discussing when things get challenging and coaching students to dig deep and not to give up. Teaching students when they hear their fixed mindset, because they will, that they have a choice and they can change their thoughts to a positive growth mindset. Holding my students to high standards, giving feed forward and working together with my students to learn. I will also share my stories of how I have had to have a growth mindset when it comes to learning. We are all learning and just because we don’t know something doesn’t mean we cant learn it. It just means we haven’t learned it “yet” .
When teaching grit and growth mindset I will be honest with my students. We all aren’t perfect, we all make mistakes, we all can have a fixed mindset at times and lack some grit. But that is exactly when you need to practice those growth mindset skills and really use grit to continue learning and not give up! To dig deep, use your why and continue moving forward. When you struggle, you are growing and it takes grit to power though and continue your learning each and every day.
I’ve watched the Grit video (above) over and over again many times. I feel as though Angela is right. We don’t have an answer. There is no end or one right way to teach grit or a growth mindset. But we do know how important it is to teach these skills to our students. This is not just something that we have for a class, or one assignment. This is a mindset for our lives and futures. Modeling for our students, families and friends what a growth mindset looks like and having discussions on how we can promote this mindset with others is key. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone gets knocked down. It’s how we handle these situations that determines if we have a growth mindset.
By changing the language in my classroom from “I cant” to “I cant yet” or from “I’m done” to “how can I make this better” I will be teaching students to change their mindsets about their learning. This will help students when getting feed forward as they will enjoy getting advice on how to improve their work and become better at what they are doing. The goal is to move students away from trying simply just to complete a task or get a grade and towards taking on challenging tasks that will help them to be self motivated to learn and grow.
Through my courses at Lamar, my mindset has been forever changed (.. and is still growing). I still have my fixed mindset moments but I am more aware of these moments and now know how to talk back to them. When I am having a difficult time and I need to dig deep, I listen to my professors who are SO passionate about what they teach, I listen to my classmates who are going through the same struggle and learning along side me, I watch videos (linked throughout this entire post and all over the internet) to remind myself what it means to have a growth mindset and grit and I think of my why. I use that why to help me to persevere and continue growing in my teaching profession, as a learner and in life. This is the mindset I hope to pass along to my students, family and friends. This is the mindset that will help me to continue my learning journey.
Original Growth Mindset Post
Looking for more resources?
Check out my Growth Mindset Page that I use with my students!
If you want to influence change you need to be a self-differentiated leader as well as a skilled communicator when it comes to crucial conversations.
In any organization it is important to be a self-differentiated leader. A self-differentiated leader is someone who can disagree with others, but is still able to communicate and work well with others of differing opinions. Within organizations there will be people who are anxious, gossip and try to get into other peoples problems. These people will often create emotional triangles by gossiping with others and getting them involved as well. This causes the work environment to be stressful and coworkers become anxious. A differentiated leader resists being triangles and does not get involved with this. They are able to keep their cool even when others are possibly trying to sabotage you. Many people do not like to make changes, especially if they know something is working and they will attempt to sabotage what you are doing. If you are a self-differentiated leader, its important to remind yourself that you are doing the right thing, you are making a change and it is okay. Continue to work hard and do not get anxious about what others are saying. It helps to reach out to other self-differentiated leaders as well. You can learn more about what it takes to be a self-differentiated leader from Edwin Friedman in his book A Failure of Nerve. Here is a quick video to sum up some of his ideas.
To be an effective leader, you will also need to have crucial conversations to help promote change. These are conversations that are high stakes, emotional and have differing of opinions, the conversations where people are very passionate and heated about the topic being discussed. These conversations can help the organization and yourself grow and improve your plans. Since these conversations are emotional and people are often very passionate about these conversations, it is important to learn to take a step back and be able to think about the big idea – What is it that you really want to come out of this conversation? You need to be careful to not let your emotions get the best of you and to take over creating a “Fool’s Choice” where you chose to engage inappropriately in the conversation or completely disengage. When you are able to have these crucial conversations, you are able to learn from each other, feel safe and hold a productive conversation, even if you may not get exactly what you want. The goal is not to “win” the conversation but to come to an agreement, better than either of the opinions each side has and then to put that conversation into action.
It is engrained in our genetic paths to either fight or flight when under stress or pressure. During conversations about something we are passionate about, we tend to do the same things, argue (fight) for something we truly believe, even if that means we may be being disrespectful, or we shut down (flight) and give up on putting anything into the conversation. Both of these strategies will not promote positive, safe dialog between people and may even escalate the problem being addressed.
Follow these steps to having a Crucial Conversation:
1. Get Unstuck (have common goal)
2. Start with the Heart
(think about what you really want from the conversation)
3. Learn to Look
(look for when conversations become crucial, when yourself or others are silent or violent)
4. Make it Safe
(make sure everyone feels safe to share what they are thinking)
5. Master my Stories (control your emotions)
6. STATE my path (how to express your thoughts)
7. Explore other paths (how to get others to share)
8. Move to Action (moving from talking to acting)
You can read more about the skills it takes to have Crucial Conversations in this book. Here are some videos that sum up some of the ideas from these authors.
Bardwell, M., (2010). Freidman's theory of differentiated leadership made simple. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdcljNV-Ew&feature=youtu.be
Callibrain. (2015). Video review for crucial conversations by kerry patterson. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFaXx3pgaxM&feature=youtu.be
Friedman. E., (2017). A failure of nerve: Leadership in the age of the quick fix, revised edition. New York: Church Publishing.
Patterson. K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R. & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high. United State of America.
Reading Graphics. (2017). [Image]. Crucial conversations. Retrieved from: https://readingraphics.com/book-summary-crucial-conversations/
Vital Smarts India. (2012). Crucial conversations explained in two minutes. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixEI4_2Xivw&feature=youtu.be
We want coworkers to implement STEAM thinking activities in their classrooms to equip students with skills needed for careers in the 21st century. We will measure their progress by taking a poll of what teachers are applying STEAM thinking skills in their classrooms at the beginning, middle and end of our implementation plan and how they have seen their students thinking develop. We will also measure growth by surveying staff about their confidence in applying these skills and activities after we have begun our implementation plan.
The Vital behaviors we are trying to change are:
1. Teachers to become confident using STEAM thinking activities by applying these skills in their classrooms at least once a month.
2. Teachers having STEAM buddies to plan together and hold each other accountable.
3. Teachers create, share and explore STEAM thinking activities with other teachers in the building using the STEAM thinking platform we have created.
To change these vital behaviors we will need to get help from our organizational influencers. We will need help from 2 different kinds of teachers to help influence others. We will first need teacher that will model our innovation plan. These teachers are our STEAM buddy teacher and the innovative teachers in our building. We will also need teachers that will help to influence other teachers. These are the teacher who collaborate well with others, and are willing to make changes by may need some guidance.
When trying to promote change within our district, we used the Six Sources of Influence chart from the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson. Kerry says that if you can apply at minimum 4 of the six sources you are more likely to influence change, but it is best to use all 6. Andrea and I have come up with some ideas for all of the 6 sources of influence and have created the chart in bullet format for quick reference. (click here to see our matrix full screen).
(2015). Influencer model. [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/133896810@N06/19390580600
Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change, second edition. McGraw-Hill.
It's that time of year again. A time to reflect on our year and to set goals for the next. This year my husband and I were so blessed to have our first baby boy. He is the love of our lives and we are so excited to have our little family. I'm on maternity leave and loving EVERY moment of it (even the mom tired times). I know when I go back to work, I will be forever changed.
"You can't do it" they say. "You can't be a great mom AND a great teacher". Yes, I have actually heard these words from many people. And to all the people that have said these words I challenge you to tell me WHY NOT? Why can't I be a great mom and a great teacher?
As someone that is new to this motherhood tribe, I am making it my mission to prove all of those people wrong, and I know I'm not alone. #motivatedmama We can be great mothers AND great teachers both. I know it, because I have seen it. I am lucky to work with some great women that are botha great mom and a great teacher. I know it will be a challenge but when you have determination and love your family and your students, you just make it happen. There is no other option. Sure, will there be days where I take it easy - my lesson plans are not out of this world or we order carry out because I'm too tired to cook dinner - or that I am not on my A game, Yes! I'm human. It will be important to be forgiving of myself when I can't do what I want to get done, but I am determined. I am a mom. I am a teacher. I am strong. I will be smart and organized with my time. I will give my all to my family, to my work AND to myself (cant forget about my me time). I will be great at being a mom and at being a teacher, and I will prove those people wrong.
I will be the best wife & mom I can be.
I will be the best teacher & role model I can be.
I will be the best sibling & friend I can be.
I will take care of my health.
I will take care of my finances.
I will go to church.
I will stay motivated.
I will forgive myself.
I will be strong.
Okay Okay. You already moms out there may be saying "Haha, I remember when I was that way" or "I'll believe it when I see it". But I am determined to stay productive AND enjoy my life outside of work with my family and friends. I recently read a book, Four Seconds by Peter Bregman. Ironically, I read this on a cruise while I was relaxing. This is a great read and has really helped me to stay motivated and productive with my work both at home and at school.
In Four Seconds, Peter Bregman shows us how to replace negative patterns with energy boosting and productive behaviors. To thrive in our fast-paced world all it takes is to pause for as few as four seconds -- the length of a deep breath -- allowing us to make intentional and tactical choices that lead to better outcomes.
Here is a video that I feel goes along with how I feel about being productive. Its important for people to take time to slow down, enjoy life, reflect on your work and get your thoughts and ideas together.
Other motivators -
Yoga and meditation. This is a great way to take your me time, refocus and feel your best so you can be your best for everyone else. I found this great yoga place in my area (called Renew Mama), that is for Moms specifically. They have Mommy and Baby yoga classes as well as classes for just Mom but they provide a babysitter right next door. This is a great community of mama's right there in the life balance struggle with you. I also love Head Space to give me just the 10 minutes a day that I need to reflect, relax and clear my mind.
I have also decided to re-vamp my instagram account. I am going to try to follow just the people that inspire me and make me want to do and be my best. There are so many great moms and teachers that focus on being your best. Here are some of my favorites:
TheEllenShow (Ellen Degeneres), JoannaGaines, KristinCavallari, Meghankedmonds, Melrystrick, Moms.Can.Be.Fit, PositivelyPosie, MommyHotline, WeAreYogaEd, FunkyBuddhaYoga, TheWhole30, TheBump, LoriHarder, TheAmyGroesbeck, TheTeachersPassport, TheMindfulEducator, TeachOutsidetheBox, JustAPrimaryGirl, MariadisMondyBooks, StepIntoSecondGrade, HappyHealthyHumble, DashingDish, Littlebitsof_RealFood, Littlevintagenest... I know there are so many more, but these are some of my favorites I can quick think of. Plus all of my AMAZING mama friends. #inspiration
Other Books I am reading:
I will be the best for my family, and for my students. I am determined. I am strong. & I know I am not alone.