Inspiring a Growth Mindset

Updated: Oct 25, 2019


Mindset vs. Growth Mindset!

Educators must find the right mindset. The world is changing, students are changing and educators must encompass a growth mindset. It’s hard for me to believe that teachers with a passion for what they do can even feel that students can’t learn or be motivated or succeed in reading and writing. I have heard these words from so many educators over the years and I’m still trying to process it!! It’s hard for me to believe that teachers with a passion for what they do can even feel this way about any student. Let’s face it…

We didn’t choose to become educators because

fame and fortune would be in our future.

We didn’t choose to become educators because it was an easy job…

(cue laughter here for those people that think our job is easy…)

We didn’t choose to become educators because of the

high powered status we would gain.

I have to say it…

All kids want to learn.

All kids want structure.

All kids want teachers who care—truly care!

Teachers need growth mindset to meet all children where they are at, so they can help them to make progress.

If the students are not progressing,

the teachers are not

AUTHENTICALLY

engaging them.

Student engagement and choice is a key ingredient to running successful workshops—reading or writing! Now these words can be rather confusing for many. So, let’s break this down…

Student engagement

Student engagement means just that! Students are engaged. Now there are levels of engagement. We must design lessons that will have our students showing a high degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion for what they are learning. Students need to be inquisitive, interested, inspired and passionate about their own learning. Teachers CAN and MUST create a learning environment for this to happen for all students! It’s not easy, but no one ever said that it was. Teaching is not an easy job, no matter what anyone outside of education says, we are faced with a difficult task every day!

Student Choice

Student choice means just that! Students need a choice in what they read and write about. Don’t get me wrong… there is a time and place to share genres and types of text that are outside of your students’ interest zones, so they can experience different types and genres they may not gravitate towards. BUT, we must provide times for children to choose within their interest zones. It doesn’t mean there is a free for all. You can establish guidelines within their choices. For example, if I need my students to infer as they read based on the minilesson, they can’t be reading Where’s Waldo! The guidelines are that Waldo has a place but it's not in workshop.

Back to growth mindset. I know it’s hard to listen to a teacher who has lost his/her passion for working with students. But, maybe these responses will help. I know this list is not exhaustive but it’s a way to start a conversation. Sometimes, the conversation starter will not be well received but, in the interest of all students, it’s worth a shot! Right?!

Words of a dispassionate educator

These kids will never improve in reading.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

Sure they will! How are they authentically engaged in reading and writing? What experiences can you provide for them to heighten their level of engagement?

Words of a dispassionate educator

These kids don’t want to read and I can’t make them.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

Sure they will! Have you shown them a good model of proficient reading by reading aloud books they are interested in and providing time for them to engage in conversations about the book?

Have you provided time for them to discover the kind of reader they are?

Have you provided them with strategies to find their own interests and select books that are just right for them?

Words of a dispassionate educator

These kids just don’t have the support at home to improve in reading.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

I know there are homes in which reading and writing are not valued as much as it should be. That’s definitely a challenge for teachers. However,

Do you provide time daily for your students to read and write for their own purposes in class? Do you provide strategies for your students to be successful when they read and write at home?

Do you invite parents in to teach them strategies for reading and writing with their children at home?

Words of a dispassionate educator

These kids just aren’t motivated to read.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

They will become motivated. We just have to find the right fit for each student.

Have you provided time for them to discover the kind of reader they are?

Have you provided them with strategies to find their own interests and select books that are just right for them?

Words of a dispassionate educator

These kids aren’t going to be able to do THAT.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

Sure they will!

Have you tried it?

Have you given your students the opportunity to show you what they can do with the task/activity?

Words of a dispassionate educator

My kids can’t do that.

Responses of a passionate educator to start a conversation

Sure they will.

Have you given them the opportunity to try it out?

How do you know they can’t do it, if you haven’t tried it with them?

Until next time...




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