After spending the best part of two years really ensuring my classroom is a positive, ‘can-do’ environment with the influx of ‘Growth Mindset’ blogs all over the place, it’s clear that the power of language is intrinsically vital to any successful classroom.
I’ve spent the past two weeks speaking to parents about how we need to be building upon their children’s self-confidence and esteem in order to achieve more throughout the year. They seem to really understand this and take the whole concept (which isn’t new!) on board. So many parents were saying comments like ‘I was never very good at maths at school and that’s probably why my child is finding it more difficult’ or ‘they seem to listen to you and not to us when we’re going over homework’. Sound familiar? Straight away, the seed is planted in the children’s mind and the barriers to learning come down. We know that everyone has to remain as positive as is possible and be resilient when learning new things; making mistakes in order to learn.
However, after long hard days at work, paperwork galore, meetings upon meetings stacking up the diary & the usual pressures of work, do we ever stop and think of having a growth mind set ourselves? When I get home from work, I check Twitter for all the latest blogs, pedagogical ideas and general tweets that like-minded individuals have shared. Too often, there is a negative vibe because people are not happy with current affairs of education and with the day to day stresses of life. Do we ever think about transferring our perfected positive language from the classroom and practise what we preach in own lives? We came into the job as educators to inspire, nurture & ensure children are the best they can be, but do we ever think about having a healthy mind set to be the best we can be?
Recently, I had a fantastic email from our deputy head which made me feel great! 30 minutes later in a parent meeting, I doubted everything I was doing and this set the tone for the next couple of days. Ranting & raving to family members and friends, why was I ever doubting what I’d spent my whole life working towards? As teachers, I think it’s safe to say that we tend to focus on one negative comment instead of the 100 positive ones we’ve had. It’s natural to feel guarded & defensive yet we forget the bigger picture.
Now, I’m not being naïve. I know there are many reasons why this does not always happen and it’s easy to say we’ll try harder but I guess for the rest of the year, I want to be mindful of my own mindset and I’d love to log on to Twitter and see people being more positive themselves. Let’s, all of us, practise what we preach!