Helping Struggling Students Build a Growth Mindset

The growth mindset is one of my favorite topics to read about because to me, under the hood of the lies love, empathy, and relationships.  I originally read and sharing this post on twitter and it got lots on interest so I wanted to make sure if was part of our library!

Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers write a great post called “Helping Struggling Students Build a Growth Mindset” that was shared on Edutopia.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

“Now we turn to the benefits of helping students who find school difficult maintain a positive mindset as they persist in the sometimes hard work required for learning. When failures mount, it’s easy to give up. A positive mindset focuses on the gains that are possible when students persevere through learning challenges. Here are five strategies to help struggling students develop a growth mindset.”

For me this reminds me of a previous post where I talked about Dr. Robert Brooks. He is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and an established author.   He discusses the mindset needed to deal effectively with students.

Enjoy and remember – its always about the kids and providing them a positive environment where they feel loved, supported, and cared for is the LEAST that we could do as educators.

The featured image is borrowed from the article on Edutopia.

 

Five Guidelines to Make School Innovation Successful.

Here is the introduction to the article written by Katrina Schwartz via Mind/Shift.

“Eleven years ago Chris Lehmann and a committed team of educators started Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a public magnet school in Philadelphia that focuses on student inquiry through projects in a community that cultivates a culture of care. The school has been so successful over the last decade that the district has tapped Lehmann to help other schools get started or transform themselves.”

I love the post because it highlights the basics of being a successful innovator and the first guideline is the most important to me.

Simplicity Matters

So many educators, when they decide to take the leap and try something new, attempt to develop the best lesson plan OF ALL TIME.  They want to showcase their new found pedagogy and they forget that doing too much the first time through might set them up for failure.  This is just part of the learning process (and a valuable one at that) because they will learn from their mistakes and it will make them better.  Change is not easy and it is not easy for your students either.  Keep it simple and make sure you provide not only your students to succeed but yourself as well.

The 6th guideline – my addition – is TALK ABOUT THE CHANGE WITH YOUR KIDS.  Prepare them for the change, let them know why your doing it, and sell them on the change!  Why not invest in some time to sell them on the idea first?  If they buy into the process then the chances of it being successful are even better.  I did this frequently as an educator and I found that: my students appreciated it, I was more successful, and most importantly is fostered a strong relationship between my students and myself.  They appreciated me treating them like adults, talking through things, and being a FAMILY.

“Don’t leave anything to chance. Educate everyday like it is your last chance to shape the future.”

Short Introduction: This post is dedicated to my Aunt.  It brings  a story on religion and connects it to education.  I do not wish to push my beliefs on anyone.  The story is sad, speaks about death, but out of tragedy I believe we can always pull out something positive.  The goal of this post is to do just that.

I recently introduced to a story about death that touched me personally and as an educator.  Personally: I recently made a trip to Atlanta to say goodbye to my dear Aunt Chickie (Louise) as she was given a terminal illness so this story made me reflect and hope that she feels that she has lived a fulfilled life.  As an educator it made me reflect on my time in the classroom and how I am going to impact education moving forward.  Here is the story (it can be found under number 8):

John Wesley was once asked, “If you knew that you would die at twelve o’clock tomorrow night, how would you spend the intervening time?” “Why,” was the answer, “just as I intend to spend it. I would preach tonight at Gloucester and again tomorrow morning. After that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon and meet the society in the evening. I should then repair to friend Martin’s house, as he expects me; converse, pray with the family, retire to my room at ten o’clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to sleep and wake up in glory.”

Most of us would pull out our bucket list, have a party, go to church (maybe even if you have never been), go skydiving, etc.  The interesting thing about John Wesley’s response was that he would not change a thing.  He would go about his life as he always did, present himself to God, and be satisfied with his life, his mission, and what he had accomplished.

Do you take advantage of every day, every lesson, every chance to learn, every chance to make an impact?  I am no longer in the classroom and I instantly started to think about how I felt about this question.  I integrated technology, used innovative practices, built relationships with kids that to this date have withstood the test of time, and I feel really good about how I utilized my time BUT I can’t help but feel like I left somethings on the table.  Maybe I could have done more?

How do you feel?  It is my hope that you feel like you great about what you have done but if you have not, the beauty of my question is that it isn’t real!  You do have tomorrow and the next day, month, year, decade depending on where you are in your career.  Take advantage of the moment and seize the opportunity.  One thing that the Innovators Mindset has shown me it is never too late.  Forget about what do not do well and focus on your strengths as an educator and design ways to impact students everyday.

“When we build on our strengths and daily successes-instead of focusing on failures-we simply learn more.” – Tom Rath

Take what you have learned (in this book, career, recent PD, whatever) and apply it.  Don’t get stuck in a holding pattern where you are worried about how taking risks will impact your students.  Kids are resilient, more resilient than adults in many ways.  Explain to them your vision, dreams, and why you are doing what you are doing and if solid relationships are established, they will stand by you.  If you have not established solid relationships then use your willingness to try new things to build them!

Take advantage of today, teach with no regrets, and mold the future into one with life-long learners who are empowered, innovative, and ready to take on the world.

The #1 Leadership Trait

Great leaders see the value in relationships, innovation, taking risks, supporting others, accountability, honesty, communication, the list goes on.   These traits can be debated over and over again but when you look at each trait, I feel that there is a larger trait that connects them all, humility.

“Humility is the number 1 trait that all leaders should strive to achieve.”

Think of a leader that you work(ed) with that was humble.  Answer these questions about that person (I’ll do the same):

  1. Were they trustworthy? (Me-yes)
  2. Were they good at building relationships? (Me-yes)
  3. Were they empathetic? (Me-yes)
  4. Were they open to others opinions? (Me-yes)
  5. Were they able to reflect? (Me-yes)
  6. Were they micro-managers? (Me-no)

This is an ideal leader!  If one is humble; they are empathetic, honest, and open-minded while also able to reflect, let people do their jobs, and accept ambiguity.  Who doesn’t want to work for a humble leader who:

  • Supports you in taking risks
  • Trusts your judgement
  • Accepts when you make mistakes
  • Admits when they make mistates
  • Listens and shows empathy
  • Encourages you to grow
  • Inspires you through modeling all of these

Not me!  Give me a leader who is humble all day because I know that they are that and more!

 

 

S01 Episode 02: Evangelist & Change Agent: Jon Bergmann, Flipped Learning, and their Global Initiative

Episode 2: Evangelist and Change Agent

Link to Podcast

Our guest for episode 2 was Jon Bergmann.  Jon is an educator, evangelist, and change agent who is one of the pioneers of the Flipped Class Movement.  He is the author for 7 books including the bestselling book: Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student Every Day and is the founder of the global FlipCon conferences.  He also has a new book coming out in April called “Solving the Homework Problem by Flipping the Learning“.

In this episode we discuss:

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Leaders of 2017

One of my favorite things that Education Week does is it created the Education Week Leaders to Learn From.  It highlights Ed Leaders and then puts ALL of their success stories in 1 location!  Honestely it was part of the inspiration for me to start my website and my newsletter.  There are SO many resources available, and I value my time, so I wanted to find easy ways to share information with my peers that I found valuable.

The purpose of this post is to simply share the link to the Leaders of 2017!  This year has a list of 13 amazing educators and this link will provide you access to their amazing stories.

Image is borrowed from Education Week Leaders to Learn From

Week 3: The Rule of 7 Touches

Season 2: Week 3: Part 2 of Innovators Mindset

Here is my vlog for Part 1 of the Innovators Mindset!  Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  I really was impacted by the Rule of 7 Touches because I think that it applies to many areas of life!

S01 Episode 02: Evangelist & Change Agent: Jon Bergmann, Flipped Learning, and their Global Initiative

Episode 2: Evangelist and Change Agent

Our guest for episode 2 was Jon Bergmann.  Jon is an educator, evangelist, and change agent who is one of the pioneers of the Flipped Class Movement.  He is the author for 7 books including the bestselling book: Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student Every Day and is the founder of the global FlipCon conferences.  He also has a new book coming out in April called “Solving the Homework Problem by Flipping the Learning“.

In this episode we discuss:

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Paradigm Shift: Learner-Centered Paradigm & Networked Age

Education Reimagined is discussing a new paradigm shift in education to a learner-centered paradigm.  “personalized” here means that you co-create learning pathways with the child sitting in front of you while you value their interests, passions, culture, etc.  It is the shift from school-centric to learner centric.  Empowerment feeds engagement and what better way than to give your students a TRUE voice.  If we can get our kids to own what they are doing in the classroom then they will feel empowered and that will automatically engage them.

Amber Teamann discusses here (42 min in) “Tylepher”.  Tyler and Christopher were student advocates for her that were always ready to try new things and even teach other kids.   The beauty of this is that these 2 students where 100% empowered by Amber and her willingness to let them help.  Innovation takes time, effort, and relationships so empower your students with choices that will aid you in making your innovation dreams a reality.  If only a couple of kids buy in the first time, don’t be discouraged, 4-5 will the next.  If you look at each stage as your floor then the sky is the limit!

P.S. Don’t forget to share & look for feedback!

Featured image is borrowed from Education Reimagined