Developing a Classroom Mindset and Combating Deficit Language.
Take some time this week to slow down and notice your own thinking during class. Are you thinking about all that is going wrong in the class; or are you celebrating all the learning and hard work of your students? Your mindset affects your students’ mindset because what you focus on is what you will notice in your students. If you focus on what is not working, you will notice student behaviors that are not effective for learning mathematics and consequently give your attention to those students who are exhibiting negative behaviors. Yet when you focus on what is working, you will notice the effective student behaviors and by paying attention to those behaviors, you will respond in ways that invite more students in your classroom into those positive behaviors.
Try asking yourself these pocket questions during a lesson:
You may also want to put some effort into noticing deficit language in what you and other staff members are saying about students when they are not present. If someone starts to complain about what students do not yet do, you could reply with an opposing view of what is going well. Or you may want to share that your goal is to focus on what is going well in your classroom and to invite students to practice positive behavior.
Students know if they are viewed as assets or liabilities in a school or classroom and will behave in the ways you expect them to. Make it a goal to call all of those you work with in the field of education to a growth mindset and a positive view of teaching and learning. Recognize that while you may not have the power to change all that you would like to, you do have the choice of how you will respond to your situation. Look for the joy in teaching somewhere in your work each day.