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I don’t have time to read this. Give me the Growth Mindset Lesson Plans.
Too long. Didn’t read. (Ironic in so many ways, but we get it.)
Teaching students to develop a Growth Mindset is tough.
That’s why you’re here. We’re all looking for a quick fix magic solution on how to teach a growth mindset to your students.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic handout or silver lining. You can’t just add the word “yet” to every obstacle and have the sun shining and unicorns singing because you had a fantastic workshop and have some inspirational quotes hanging on the wall. (Believe me, we’ve tried.)
Teaching a growth mindset takes time. And making some epic mistakes along the way.
We’re learning. Just like you. Here’s what we think we know:
We teach in a generation where kids are entitled, self-interested, unfocused, and lazy.
Sound harsh? Actually, Simon Sinek was talking about millennials in the workplace but Deep Patel writes on Forbes Magazine about how Gen Z are different, yet similar. (By the way, Millenials were born 1981-1996, so 22-37 years old, and Gen Z were born 1995-2010, so 8-23 years old.)
We have students who want purpose, who want to make an impact, and yet, don’t experience success right away, so they give up and are not happy.
According to Sinek, these kids grew up with “failed parenting strategies,” but I would argue failed teaching strategies as well. Students were/are told, “You’re special, you can have anything you want in life, and here’s a participation medal for coming in last!”
And yet, students in the real world discover they’re not special, you don’t get anything for coming in last, your mom can’t get you a promotion, and you can’t have it cause you want it.
So, now we have students in the workforce who can be hard working, idealistic, and feel empowered to “make an impact”, and yet don’t have the patience or resilience strategies. As Sinek puts it, they see the goal of “impact” at the summit of the mountain but don’t realize they have to climb a mountain to get there.
Our students are immersed in technology. They’re used to putting filters on things in Instagram and make things sound awesome… when they’re not. So when life gets tough, our students respond to these challenges, by turning back to technology for a dopamine hit, instead of developing resilience strategies.
Students in our classroom are growing up in a world with instant gratification. You can have anything you want instantly… except job satisfaction and strength of relationships.
“The overall journey arduous, and long, and difficult, and if you don’t ask for help and learn that skillset, you will fall off the mountain” – Simon Sinek, Organizational Consultant
How do we teach students to communicate? How do we teach kids the social skills that they’re missing out on? How do you build trust? Slow, steady consistency.
If you don’t have your phone… you just enjoy the world. And that’s where ideas happen. Ideas happen when our minds wander. That’s called innovation.
Do we develop these social skills in the classroom?
If Sinek has to argue that companies and industry have the moral responsibility to make up the learning shortfall, then I have to wonder if classrooms adequately prepare students for life after school in the “real world.”
Sinek is calling on industry to help these amazing, idealistic, and fantastic students build confidence, learn patience, learn social skills, and find a better balance between life and technology.