Monday, April 11, 2016

The One Requirement for True Professional Growth

This morning I led the first face-to-face meeting of a group of teachers at our school who are learning about Student-Centered Classrooms. As we discussed the article everyone in the group had read prior to the meeting, one teacher made a point about shifting to a student-centered classroom. She said,

“It’s all about mindset.” Then she continued to discuss making changes in the classroom. 

I was so happy that she made that point to the group, because mindset is the foundation for any change we want or need to make. For instance, the people in the group already have a mindset that accepts a student-centered classroom. This mindset, in turn, allows them to think positively about the new ideas they are studying. It also gives them courage as they look to step out of their comfort zones and try something new in their classrooms in these last few weeks of the school year. 

Mindset is the foundation for any change we want or need to make.  

Professional growth is sometimes about personal growth. Learning new people skills, communication strategies, and increased self-awareness are all non-content-based professional learning that every educator must face. Sometimes the “stretch” to what we believe about ourselves can be uncomfortable. Also, the fear of failure can be overwhelming. Sometimes change is scary.

Mindset can be used to make positive changes. If you believe, “I am an adaptive teacher,” your actions will be those of a teacher who responds to the needs of his/her students. If you believe, “I am curious and love to learn,” your actions will be those of someone who will embrace the opportunity to learn and face missteps as part of the learning process. 

To fully embrace professional growth, it starts with mindset. Where is yours?


  1. Jennifer,
    I agree with you that if a person's mindset is one of growth and curiosity it makes the learning journey exciting and personal. It sounds like you do a great job of positioning teachers so that they have the tools they need to have a growth mindset. That in it self shows the culture of your building. Sometimes I think as high performing schools we feel as if we have arrived and it's ok to continue to do the same thing year after year. You inspire me to continue to work to establish a similar culture. It's a win, win, win for students, teachers and the community.


  2. Jennifer,

    I love it that your teacher shared that it is all about Mindset. She nailed it! If we look at things through the growth mindset anything is possible...for both teachers and students! Thanks for sharing:)