Sunday, January 19, 2020

Kim Frencken: Motivating students to more forward despite setbacks

Growth mindset is exactly what it sounds like, setting your mind on the idea that you can grow. Okay, so maybe I oversimplified it, but in a nutshell that's what it is.

Growth mindset is showing kids that even Edison didn't get it right the first time, but he didn't quit. Growth mindset is motivating learners to keep moving forward despite the setbacks. Growth mindset is a way for kids to move beyond failure to success.

Just what kids need! Especially those who are faced with daily struggles and low self-esteem. A super way to encourage those who are already achieving to continue growing by trying new things. A way to stop being afraid of failure. A way to focus on effort.

It is so frustrating to see kids just give up because they think they're not smart. They see no reason to try because every time they try, they fail. Getting them beyond this mindset might be akin to moving boulders, but with a little effort and rethinking how we approach teaching, it is possible.

Start by focusing on their effort, not their ability. Start with tasks that they can achieve and gradually move to more difficult and challenging tasks. Don't be afraid of failure. Let your students see you fail. Let them see you struggle. Show them how you overcome problems to reach achievement.

Give your students opportunities to try something new. We used to call it enrichment, but using some of these activities in a safe environment can encourage your kids to explore on their own. And to keep trying until they succeed.

Growth mindset doesn't have to be an over-thought educational trend or a lengthy curriculum planning exercise. It can be as simple as changing your attitude and the atmosphere of your classroom.
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate for the Teacher.)

No comments: