Teaching has always been considered to be one of the noblest professions and for good reason. Teachers are people who can make a direct difference in the lives of the individuals representing the world’s tomorrow, and in much more significant ways than what tools like a school ERP can provide. Their importance and contribution to society as a whole are immense which is why teachers must be aware of the power they hold and acknowledge it for a better purpose.
However, just like every coin has two sides some teachers may or may not fit the role. One of the main characteristics of a good teacher is being able to figure out a student’s inherent aptitude toward academic and non-academic activities and encouraging them to pursue and improve upon these capabilities.
The concept of beliefs and different mindsets
Before venturing into how exactly a teacher can encourage a student it is important to understand why there is a need for it in the first place. Not every individual is built similarly and this also extends to the inbuilt psyche and thought process of a person. Students who suffer from the fallacies of youth are often insecure and impressionable, a deadly combination in the wrong hands. Many grow up believing that educating oneself is a matter of choice, and one may or may not be successful in their academic pursuit.
However, whatever may be their individual beliefs, there now arises an option for changing them if required. This is where we recognize the concept of fixed mindset and growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset are faster to resign themselves and settle for less in the face of a mild challenge. On the other hand, those with a growth mindset are more resilient in their approach and willing to improve upon current terms and conditions.
Students with opposing mindsets may show jarring differences in the classroom even with all other variables considered constant. For example, in all honesty, mathematics can be quite a difficult subject. A student with a fixed mindset may believe that they are inherently unable to approach the subject matter logically which restricts them from understanding mathematics.
In other words, the student is reluctant to even apply themselves let alone have a desire to improve in math because they are not cut out for it and would do better in other subjects. As for the student who shares a growth mindset math may possess the same level of complexity, however, they are much more willing to keep practicing to see results and may consider other forms of activity to relax their mind and work on the problem again.
Why does it matter?
Any school or other educational institute should work in a manner that encourages students to grow into mindful adults. However, while it is easier to work upon this aspect in terms of discipline and routine, say by using tools such as an attendance management system or a school ERP the above are not created to make a difference in the innate mindset of the student. Yet it is because of this mindset that the entire performance and growth trajectory experienced by a student can change.
How can teachers make a difference?
Evidence suggests that it is possible to improve students’ mindset by putting them in an environment where the teacher themselves indulges in a growth mindset. This is indicative of the fact that teachers are highly influential and can lead us to three possible ways by which they can make a difference.
Teachers can give positive and morale-building feedback to students to remind them that they are capable individuals who can make mistakes sometimes.
Teachers can let students know that they promote a growth mindset by providing opportunities for improvement and taking an interest in their struggles towards excellence.
Above all, teachers should be growth rather than result oriented. While it is necessary to be concerned about the statistics from institutional tools such as attendance management system, their main focus should be on imparting knowledge rather than demanding good marks.