One of the most important things we can do as educators is to help our students develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. This mindset is important because it leads to increased motivation and achievement in students. Here are five ways you can help your students develop a growth mindset.
1. Learn how to foster a Growth Mindset
One of the best ways to help your students develop a growth mindset is to model it yourself! If you want your students to believe that they can get smarter and improve their skills, you need to believe it too. Talk about your own struggles and setbacks in learning, and how you overcame them. Show your excitement when you achieve something difficult. Let your students see that you’re still learning and growing too!
2. Focus on students’ strengths, progress, and the process of learning
It’s important to focus on what your students are doing well, rather than what they’re struggling with. When we only focus on deficits, it sends the message that we don’t believe they can improve. Celebrate every small victory, no matter how small it may seem. And instead of praising intelligence or talent, praise the effort and strategies that students are using. Help them see that their success is due to their own hard work!
3. Have them use individual goal sheets
Individual goal setting is a great way to help students focus on their own personal growth.Goal setting should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Encourage your students to set goals in all areas of life: academic, social-emotional, physical, etc. Check in with them regularly to see how they’re progressing towards their goals. And most importantly, help them celebrate their successes!
4. Have them jot down ‘success’ notes
Success notes are short notes that focus on what went well during a particular situation or task. They help us reframe our thinking from a negative perspective (what went wrong) to a positive one (what went well). Help your students get in the habit of jotting down success notes after every lesson, game, project, etc. It’s a great way for them to reflect on their successes and learn from their mistakes!
5. Have them chart a goal
Making a visual representation of their goals is a great way for students to stay focused and motivated.There are many different ways to chart goals depending on the age and ability level of your students. You could have them create simple bar graphs or more complex charts with multiple data points. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will be meaningful for your students and easy for them to understand!
These are just a few ideas to get you started on helping your students develop a growth mindset. Remember that goal setting is important for all learners, so make sure to tailor these activities to meet the individual needs of your students! And always celebrate every success along the way!
A great resource to build relationships within your classroom is the SEL building relationship lesson plans.