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Purposeful Reflection=a Growth Mindset

     The past few weeks have been fast paced and full of family, food, fun, and finally relaxation!  There is nothing like the day after Christmas.  At our house we spend it with a full day in pajamas, rousing games of Clue, eating leftovers, and watching one marathon show after another.  I inevitably end up snuggled up on my couch with a cozy blanket and my laptop, ready to empower myself in the education world one PLN at a time.  The new year is fast approaching and a goal or resolution must be picked!  The pressure is on, but first...I must reflect!

     Yes, it's here!  The daunting task of looking back over our year.  We must all sit back and reflect over our accomplishments and failures.  We will sum up the total of our year as either successful or disappointing.  We will make plans to do better in the year to come and set goals to help us attain "the better" we are searching for.  Reflection is a powerful tool in anyone's belt and must be used if we are truly going to do things differently.  Einstein defined insanity as the process of doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.  Each year we set goals for ourselves and our students, but what are we doing differently to help them achieve their goals?  If we keep presenting them with the same plan and giving them and ourselves the same tools are we not living in the very definition of insanity.  Absolutely!  So the task before us is not what will our goal be, but instead what will we do differently so that we might achieve the goals we want.  It's really setting a ourselves a new perspective not necessarily a new goal.

     For teachers the final push is about to begin.  The second semester is beginning so the stress to get students "where they need to be" begins to come down on our shoulders like a ton of bricks.  The hard conversations will be had during this semester and the tough decisions will be made.  It is really the hardest time of year for teachers, students, and families.  Reflection during this time is crucial for the success of all!  It is important that we all have a growth mindset where the focus is not how smart we all are, but changes to a focus on hard work, collaboration, learning from our mistakes, and being open to the outreach for answers.  Most importantly we must all be of the mindset, and truly believe, that all students can learn and be successful and then show that in our actions, words, and intentions.  When we stop putting the focus on how smart we are and instead put the focus on how hard we worked and how much we learned from the mistake we made, then we will truly see the cycle of insanity broken.

     Think about your students, your faculty, your school community.  What did you do last year to improve it?  What is your plan this year?  Is it the same?  Don't get stuck in the insanity cycle!  Stop and reflect over the things you did last year to try and reach your goals.  Make a new, different, plan that will help you see a new perspective on how to attain "the better"  you want for this year.

     True reflection means we have to be okay with admitting that we make mistakes.  This is not an easy task for most and can be especially hard for teachers.  We put A LOT of time and effort into our lessons and plans for our students, so having to stand back and say that all that hard work flopped right in front of our faces is not just hard to admit, it's nearly impossible!  We pride ourselves on being right, being prepared, and being educated on how to respond to every situation.  There are websites dedicated to our brilliance and innovative creations! (aka Pinterest, TPT, etc...)  So you can imagine how hard it is for us to say that the fabulous math game we spent hours creating still did not reach the struggling math student we thought it would.  WE PRIDE OURSELVES.... the very concept of this is just that... PRIDE.  Reflection does not allow room for PRIDE!  To have a growth mindset we must first learn to be able to admit we fail, we make mistakes, horror of horrors... we, in fact, DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING!

We cannot begin to expect our students to be okay with making a mistake if we ourselves do not model it for them.  Mistakes=learning.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” 

     
The task is before you... purposefully reflect, change, and watch yourself, your students, and all those around you grow because of it.

~Liz
   

Comments

  1. Very powerful, and so true. Thanks for helping me find new and exciting ways to change...you inspire me to try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brenda! You inspire me as well. We make a pretty good team!

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