This week’s adventures took me to the aromatic Hershey Lodge and Convention Center for #pete218. If you aren’t familiar with PETE&C, you are missing out. I highly recommend checking out the Twitter feed #pete2018 and exploring the awesome PD and events that are taking place during this year’s conference and then plotting your attendance for 2019!
Educators everywhere are touting and teaching the growth mindset mantra. They are teaching and guiding students to reframe their thinking and focus on the power of yet. It’s awesome to hear teachers redirecting “I can’t” with “I can’t yet, but…” We are doing our best to empower our learners, and help them gain confidence in their academic growth.
However, who is modeling this for educator? Too often I hear teachers say, “So and so can do this, but they are good with ______. I’m just not good at that.” Who is walking up behind you and whispering… YET? What steps are you taking to reach that level of proficiency? How are you extending your comfort zone, and embracing the potential of what is to be?
Every journey begins with a single step. Some journeys are fast and furious with a finish line clearly in site. Others are never ending journeys demanding the person on this path continuously renew their focus and extend the finish line. Instead of finish line we have to embrace the milestone model. I’ve reached this mini goal and now I am off to the next.
I am not confident in technology, so my first milestone is to attend a training on a tool or idea that intrigues me. I am going to shake my nerves and reservations to allow myself to explore something new.
Now that I have achieved my first milestone, I am going to stretch a bit and try this with a group of students in my classroom. I will ask my instructional coach to be on hand to assist me or model it for me within the walls of my classroom. I will allow myself to be open-minded and be prepared to embrace a fail forward mindset where if first I don’t succeed, I reset, reframe, and try again. I don’t say, “This is why I don’t use technology!” or “Technology just hates me.”
Once you’d tried using this new tool or instructional model with success, you reflect. How can I make this my own? What should I adapt? What worked well? How would I like to extend further?
Too often, we as educators, create our own toxicity. We allow stressful schedules, challenging students who need more support, or negative district social media posts to pollute our minds and strip us of our own growth mentality. We become stagnant, paralyzed by the fear of what if, instead of envisioning what could be.
Any team is only as strong as their weakest link, any athlete is only as good as their best play. If we aren’t practicing and working on enhancing our playbooks are we letting our potential slip away?
There are no experts, there are only willing players. A new expert, or idea is always right around the corner. If we allow ourselves to become stagnant, we slow the forward momentum of our organization, team, faculty, or school down.
How have you grown yourself lately? Have you taken a course? Attended a new professional development training? Tried something new without allowing negativity or fear to hold you back? Have you stepped out and shared what you are doing with others?
As educators we tend to shy away from “tooting our own horns.” But if we adopt a growth mindset for educators will will realize that by sharing our stories, we are giving another educator an opportunity to learn something new, be intrigued, and explore further. What will your shared story be? I came, I tried, and I Gave In/Gave Up or I Explored, I Tried, I Triumphed, and I Lit a Torch for Others to Travel Too?