Leaving a Fixed Mindset for a Growth Mindset Takes Vulnerability

Create growth-oriented relationships with your students.

This is key to letting them know they are valued members of your learning community.

Each student knows you, their teacher, believes in their ability to achieve.

  • Students won’t believe in themselves if they don’t think their teachers have faith in them. A growth mindset requires students to believe they can and will get better at things through increased learning/information and practice.
  • Remind students daily that you believe in each and every one of them.

Each student knows you, their teacher, as a person who they respect.

  • Get to know your student’s interests. When you take a personal interest in your students’ lives and wellbeing, you will
    develop deeper relationships with them and be better equipped to tailor the most beneficial learning experiences for each.
  • Share appropriate, personal information with students so they can connect with you on a mutual level.

Each student, every day, receives feedback from their teacher.

  • Students seek and embrace teacher feedback in growth-oriented classes because they know evidence of progress toward the goals you have set together is most important to you.

Each student feels safe in the presence of their teacher.

  • Students are more prepared to learn when they feel secure at school. Students should know you have their best interests at heart, you want what is best for them, you will protect them, and you will unconditionally care for them regardless of any mistakes they make.

About the Author

Lucy Canotas is the NHASCD Secretary and Director of Elementary Curriculum for the Timberlane Regional School District.  In 2015, Ms. Canotas received the National Education Association’s Teaching Excellence Award.