In embracing the growth mindset through a disappointing Spring, I have recently asked a colleague and former supervisor to serve as my mentor. This is a facet of my own growth I realized had been absent from my life over the last 5+ years. I asked her explicitly to ask me hard questions that I hadn't thought about myself, I choose to ignore or that I refuse to answer myself. I desired a new level of accountability in my growth and development as a educator as well as a person.
So what's the first thing that she asks me. "Why do you do what you do?" Should be an easily
answerable question. My brain starts to filter through 14 years of educator experiences: beauty of
literacy instruction, technology as a tool to connect students and parents to learning, amazing learning experiences for students and teachers, and all I can sputter out is "it's about the learning." I can smile about it now, but I was a little embarrassed! How ineloquent a response to a hugely important question. Thinking about the mentorship relationship I desired, I got over myself and continued to shoot disconnected thoughts and goals then began to put them together into a cohesive idea. All the while, she sat and listened. I had forgotten what an amazing experience it was to have a mentor listen and refine thoughts and ideas, to share and to dream with.
What I came down to in our session was I want learning to be contagious. I love learning! I love sharing ideas with others! I love gaining ideas & thoughts from others! I enjoy reading! I LOVE my Twitter PLN (which I have some specific things I'm working on), I love the design aspects of learning! I want to share that love with others. I want that to shine through and be evident in my daily interactions with teachers, students and colleagues. I desire for that to be evident in the learning experiences designed for staff as well as the opportunities outside of school provided and encouraged. I want to have a the maximum opportunity and platform to have my love of learning be contagious! At one point in our conversation I likened my desire for learning to be contagious to discipleship. Who is the group that I "run around with", learning, improving, growing sharpening (Proverbs 27;17)? This is an area I want to work on specifically. This necessitates a level of relationship and sharing life that takes time and investment.
Is what you do make learning contagious?
This may just become my mantra and mission statement! This is the beauty of the growth mindset. Encouragement and excitement are the outcomes of disappointment and unmet goals!? It would seem counterintuitive, but not with the correct mindset. Hard work for sure, but worth it in long run and especially if I truly believe that learning is contagious.