Thursday, 26 March 2015

Growth Mindset at School

When it all comes down to it - it's about you and your teaching practice. Your individual teaching style is connected so much with your personality and as such - if you have a personality that is hard working, determined to succeed, works on weaknesses to build them into strengths, you're more likely to have a growth mindset. If you have a personality that puts things in the 'too hard' basket and give up easily when a challenge faces you or if you feel threatened by others and the inadequacies you believe you have - you're more likely to have a fixed mindset.
I think the important thing really is acknowledging that at differing times and moments of our lives we can be fixed or growth depending on our emotional state and wellbeing.

I choose to have a growth mindset because I've grown up having a fixed mindset and know that nothing good comes from it. Always feeling not good enough or that you need to work harder and just know you'll never achieve to where you want to be. It's a sad and lonely place that - so I choose growth mindset. Because with a growth mindset I can accomplish amazing feats. I can tick item after item off of my bucket list and I can become the best possible version of myself.

A fixed mindset thought bubbled inside me today when despairing about the fact that one of Y12 classes just do not discuss as a class. I find a class that doesn't talk and learn with discussion disconcerting and I felt flustered. Because for the life of me at that moment I couldn't see what else I could actually do. We don't have ready access to the COWs anymore. I use them a lot still though... but even then - it's not the same because the amount of set up time and developing skills takes ages. So using backchannels like or Exit ticket or Kahoot are impossible because we need access.

So... once I had a little rant to myself and a bit of a breather - I let them continue with their analysis and instead worked with groups. I found that they are more likely to talk in their small groups and ask questions in front of their immediate peers rather than in front of the whole class.

While this group comfort is a good thing and will be my new strategy in the meantime - building them up to be able to work effectively in a class discussion is of utmost importance. We need to find common ground - not the easiest thing to do with two assessments in the first tern.

On top of this of course is figuring out how to change their mindsets also.

Because at the end of the day - I can be on my own buzz but my students may not be anywhere where I want them to be. I have to remember thst we're catering for our ss' needs and wants rather than my own... even though we could do so much if mine were catered for!! Classroom, ability to do Pinkies on my phone, etc