A growth mindset is a belief that a person can be different in several ways in terms of his/her interests, abilities, intelligence, skills, talents, initial performance, qualities, etc. Everybody can change, improve, and develop through application and experience. Promoting a growth mindset in students is a concern for maximum teachers, but often teachers themselves work with a fixed mindset.
Simply as we teach all students for growing, improving, learning, and changing, we also need changes and improvements as educators. One of the best school-based factors to enhance education these days is providing teachers with opportunities to grow a growth mindset by working together to develop strategies and skills to raise the impact of their guidance in the classroom.
Let’s have a look at 5 best practices for teachers to build a growth mindset this year!
1. Create a Professional Learning Network
Being a teacher, you can embrace this advantageous and potential growth mindset practice for sure. Building a professional learning network assists you in creating relationships with the educators having similar thoughts.
You can share your ideas and resources within this network, discuss your profession and raise your concerns also. The best advantage of a professional learning network is that you will learn and grow new practices simultaneously to improve your teaching practice while having a personal development as well.
2. Experiment and Innovate
Several schools teach students to be young design thinkers, makers, and innovators to succeed in a progressing global economy. Hence, mustn’t teachers be innovators also? There is no ideal strategy for teaching, so teachers must experiment and innovate for offering efficient, genuine, and dynamic guidance.
Innovation is not only about technology but also about the systems and procedures inside a classroom, interdisciplinary work, programming adjustments, new student project ideas – the choices are truly unlimited. It’s easy to address what is known, but that might not be what works perfectly for these days’ modern students or precisely the students in front of you. Don’t simply follow a group; rather lead the charge and accept what is possible.
3. Ask Many Questions
If you are curious to know new things, you can grow. And asking questions and getting answers is synonymous with the meaning of growth mindset: curiosity, enhancement, and development. A kid can ask a lot of questions in a single setting. This can often make you puzzled, as their desire for learning seems unlimited. Thereby, you can take from their enthusiastic fearlessness and perseverance in knowing what they wish to know.
For a kid, it’s only about exploring and growing with curiosity. The same goes for a teacher also, only more sophisticated. The answers you want are regarding exploring professional and personal queries and issues through an intense analysis. You will still learn and develop. The only difference is that you can be choosier about what is crucial to show curiosity.
4. Learn New Technology
In this digital era, we cannot think of a teacher who hardly uses email or are not tech-savvy. If you don’t stay updated with the latest technology, you cannot serve the students of this digital age. Now, smart devices and laptops fill classrooms and possibly everybody uses a computer or a smartphone.
There is a lot to learn and everything is continuously changing. However, an educator doesn’t need to be experts on every technology – but they have to keep info regarding the latest technology. When educators teach kids new things, why can’t they learn new things too? Simply think about how your students feel when they are uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or feel saturated during a lesson. Technology is not going away and slowing down, hence we should embrace a growth mindset even if it is challenging and constantly learn the ways of using, developing and integrating technology.
5. Be A Positive and Active Listener
Asking questions and sharing knowledge is not enough. You must be a good listener to learn new things. Being an active listener helps you in doing it the right way. Here are a few points to consider if you want to become a positive and active listener. You can keep these in mind while communicating with your colleagues and learners.
- Quiet yourself – Don’t talk much and be available and open to what the other person needs through your listening.
- Create a comfortable environment for the speaker – Using gestures or nodding or seating might be instances of this. Decide whether the speaker will find it more comfortable if you take a chair beside him/her or stay behind your desk. For smaller kids, don’t tower over them; rather get at their eye level.
- Relate to the speaker – Look inward and share the same experiences with the speaker. Share them only if relevant.
- Pay heed to non-verbal communications – Eye contact is required as people communicate through facial expressions and body language.
- Get rid of distractions – If required, turn off devices, clear the room and make your phone silent. You may require shifting to a more private area also.
- Overlook personal prejudice – This can be tough as your experiences build your personality. And keeping all experiences apart is an expertise that needs practice.
- Connect with listening mode – Make the environment silent and open your mind mentally to the hearing by feeling comfortable and involving in eye contact.
- Accept silence – Some people require time for showing a thoughtful response. Recommending what they need to say or chasing them, deprive their chances for communicating honestly. Hence, keep it silent in case it should be.
When teachers leave the classrooms at the end of the day, the maximum growth mindset practices for them involve reflecting on that day. And this is a must if you want to enhance, refine, and discover new things regarding yourselves and your practice. But it’s tough for the busy teachers to make time for reflecting. They can make time for group or solo reflection in daily meetings or professional development sessions. This improves your growth mindset practice by changing you.