Growth Mindset & Mental Health/Well-being
Once-upon-a-time, I had to really think about my words and actions to avoid Fixed Mindset tendencies. This is now more a part of me and who I am. That does not mean I do not have to correct myself sometimes, I do. However, there was a time when I would not have corrected myself and would not have even been aware how the words I used and the behaviour I exhibited would contribute to how I viewed myself and my own abilities and even how that reflected onto others. The result of what I told myself certainly stopped me doing things that I felt I could not do.
As a teacher, I see this behaviour from so many children in the classroom and it should not be the driving force of their motivation to learn and try new things. I strongly believe that the environment by which children are surrounded should consistently feed messages that build courage, resilience and perseverance. These are ever important personality traits that our children need in a world that is increasingly pressurised for everybody. Without a certain amount of resilience and understanding that struggle is OK, children begin to wilt in the face of adversity and this is highly affecting the mental health of so many – I see these effects every day in the classroom and it is clear it is a widespread problem.
We cannot simply expect children to grow these skills without input and leave it to chance that they will develop them. Children often need specific training in these ideas and to see it in action from those around them. If we do not tackle our own Fixed Mindset tendencies, how can we expect our children to hone Growth Mindsets themselves? The journey is therefore for everybody. We can all grow together. We can all achieve more.