Grow Into Your Best Teaching Year Yet

Starting 2018 with a Growth Mindset

Friends, here we are again at the beginning of a new year. Whether you’re already back in the classroom or basking in the last few days of break, it’s a natural time for reflection. We all think about shedding old habits and forging new paths towards a better future.

Just like you, the Pear Deck team is setting big goals for 2018 and challenging ourselves to step out of our comfort zones individually and collectively. We’ve been looking to the best teachers we know for inspiration on how to achieve our big dreams and asking ourselves, what can we do differently to really make an impact?

In 2018, our team is consciously adopting a growth mindset, something we know a lot of you are working hard to instill in your students. Here are a few things we’re planning on doing that we think could translate well to working with your colleagues, students or even family.

Start with gratitude

When we focus on the positives, we amplify those good feelings in others. We start every meeting with a Team Bravo thanking each other for some contribution and letting our teammates know we appreciate them. Over time, this creates a habit of gratitude that deepens our positive neural roadways.

Focus on relationships

When the people around you know you care about them and are genuinely interested in who they are, they open themselves up to your influence. By nurturing and honoring our relationships with each other, we build the trust necessary to share honest, even radical feedback about our work

Give ourselves room to grow

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about our challenges or to admit when we’re over our head. With colleagues especially, we want to be perceived as competent and even effortlessly successful. But sharing stories about times that we tackled something difficult and persevered lets those neural connections strengthen and build new pathways. Try sharing your own stories to model how you became better at something with dedicated and deliberate practice and ask your teammates for their own stories.

Praise the process

Praising the process that leads to successful outcomes is more effective than praising outcomes alone. As educators, you probably use this tactic with your students all the time. Rather than telling them “Good job” and moving on, you ask them to reflect on the steps they took to get there. Try doing this for yourself. Look at a challenge you tackled that may have been difficult when you started, but that through practice and by seeking help you overcame. Maybe it’s leading a professional development session or organizing your personal budget. Whatever the task, looking at how you made progress helps build your own resilience and persistence!

Working to develop a your own growth mindset is a gift you give yourselves and sets a great example for others! So, talk with us! Which strategy will you try at work this week? Or what strategy will you continue in your own life, that you know is already working?

Happy New Year!

This week’s post written by Pear Deck’s VP of Marketing, Kate Beihl.