An article by Leigh Buchanan titled Between Venus and Mars: 7 Traits of True Leaders states control is a mirage (June 2013). Buchanan explains the most effective leaders right now--men and women--are those who embrace these traits: Empathy. Vulnerability. Humility. Inclusiveness. Generosity. Balance. Patience. There is a strong connection between these traits and my teaching style. My passion for bringing about change, and improvements in education, fuels me toward being a teacher leader and part of a teacher transformation. I use the growth mindset, or the ability for learning new things through effort, in my classroom. In order to create a growth mindset classroom environment where all students are willing to take on challenges and push themselves, it is important to make the focus on learning clear, make it safe to risk mistakes, and communicate a high confidence in all students’ ability to rise to the learning challenges. In my class I frequently use these statements:
•New material is an opportunity to stretch!
•Today, your brain will get stronger.
•This is just the first draft—you’ll have lots of chance to improve it.
•We’re in the learning zone today. Mistakes are our friends!
•When you master this learning, you can be proud because this isn’t easy.
•I have seen you stretch and succeed in the past. Let’s do it again.
•When you think you can’t do it, remind yourself that you can’t do it yet.
•If it were easy you wouldn’t be learning anything.