As the leaves fall and October hurtles onward, many people have been asking across the country in various schools I have been in, , ‘How do you make Mindset real?’ This is a real challenge all of us face after the initial excitement and euphoria and realisation of what Mindset means for school improvement and good teaching and learning practice.
So. here are some of my top tips to getting started with Growth Mindset in a real and sustained way:
1. Where are pupils going to learn about the brain? How the more we learn, the more our minds develop and grow?
2. What is the typical language that everyone is going to use? Is it Growth Mindset? Is it Grit? Determination? Having a go? Asking for help? Resilience? Consider what will work best for your school situation. Get a language sheet for staff to use in reports, in class, and in pupil’s jotters.
3. What is the best approach for delivering the messages about parents are your school? Newsletter? Workshop? Social media? What can you do the reach ALL parents? Let them know about praising effort and not the outcome and help them with their Mindset? Who is best placed to do this? Why not run a campaign one week and get the pupils involved?
4. Feedback. How can you re-engineer feedback within daily learning and teaching practice so that it is specific, tells pupils how they can improve and lets them understand how they are making progress. Where and how can pupils give each other feedback using growth mindset language and encouraging each other to try different strategies and put in the effort when tasks are hard? How will you know how you are doing? Perhaps you can solicit feedback from a friendly colleague who can give you some observational feedback?
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to start with introducing and sustaining growth mindset, the criminal thing is not to try! You owe to yourself, your school and your pupils to embed mindset!
Mistakes are good, so get experimenting and see what you can do to help everyone start to work on their language. Share what you can across the school, and measure as you go! (Your doing the hard work anyway, you might as well get the credit for it and understand what is working well).