Developing a growth mindset
To me any satisfaction and success that you can expect in life will be influenced by a positive, can do mindset. I have learned that your attitude will determine your altitude.
Over the past couple of years we have been made aware of each of our colleague’s mindset with the introduction of compulsory BYOD. Richard Wells’ pencil illustration says it all and it has been a challenge for those of us at the lead end of the pencil to understand those who are not. Especially since we belong to the wonderful twitter community and at first we thought that the mindsets of the twitterati were normal for most teachers. We have had a wake up call, I tell you! However, this has lead to us having to modify our own mindset. These are a few things that we have learned:
1. Not everyone learns the same way.
Crazy-obvious I know and you would think that as teachers we would not have to relearn this. But adults are the same as students, some of us like to learn alone, some in groups, some like to be shown and some like to have stuff set up and go from there. Some learn faster than others. Linda Rubens wrote a post which explains her very effective solution to this. Those of us who are excited about the changes occurring in education have actively pursued new knowledge and worked out how to use apps effectively on our own. It was quite shocking to find this year that a minority of our colleagues did not know the basics after 2 years of having a device.
2. We need to be helpful, patient and kind.
Again, this is what we do with our students, why couldn’t we extend the same courtesy to our colleagues as easily? We expected too much too soon and, at times, became frustrated with people who complained about using devices. We realise that we needed to spend time working one on one with our colleagues and we also needed to build relationships to encourage them to keep positive and keep trying to make things work for themselves. It can be frustrating when technology goes wrong so we have helped them problem solve where we can.
3. There will never be a utopian school where everyone has the same positive mindset towards teaching and learning.
However, this does not mean we should give up the goal. The journey towards passion and excitement for learning with technology is more important than the goal. It’s the challenges that we overcome and what we learn along the way that have the most value. It has been really cool when a colleague who was previously negative about using their device has ‘seen the light’ and become excited about what they could do with it.
Developing a growth mindset is not easy for some, especially if they have become comfortable with doing what they have always done. But the world of education is evolving and we need to be willing to at least have a go at evolving with it. This is what someone with growth mindset would do.