Everyone in education should have an abundance mindset. Teaching is endless, it never stops, no one is fully educated – knowledge is possibly the most abundant commodity.
Does everyone in education have an abundance mindset?
Well that’s not for me to say – and to talk about it would go against the point of having an abundance mindset…
What is an abundance mindset?
Having an abundance mindset is the belief that there is enough for everyone, everyone can succeed with that they want. It is opposite to the scarcity mindset which puts people against each other for limited resources.
How can we make sure that, even if that’s not the case in the wider education world, there is an abundance mindset in our lives and in our teaching?
Here’s some ideas I’ve had which I’ll share with you (a classic trait of an abundance mindset there).
Focus on what’s going right. Teachers are quite good at this generally, we encourage and we complement and grow students’ confidence – that’s important, keep doing it.
Teach failure as part of the learning process. Failure should not be seen as the end, it is just the beginning of a learning process. Build this into your lessons and schemes of work, always have opportunities to improve.
“A piece of work is never finished – it is abandoned.” – Leonado da Vinci
Show students that their learning is part of a wider process – not just to pass an exam. Talk about the skills and disciplines you are teaching, make them a part of your lesson – as opposed to another slide about how close and important the next phase of exams are.
Focus on the abundance not the lack. Change the conversation from, “if you don’t do your homework, you’ll fail your exams and won’t get a job,” to “what job do you want… ok… well to get that you’ll need this grade… how will you get that?”
Passive language. Students often phrase things like, “you gave me that mark”, “he gave me that detention,” as though they are not in control and are victims of their situation. A simple rephrase from “this is the mark you have,” to “this is piece of work is currently a… ” takes the student out of the equation and allows them to focus on something they can change – the piece of work.
Appreciate. Make a habit of appreciating things in the classroom. Read my post on how to celebrate victories here.
Negative influences. Being exposed to the wrong sorts of radio, TV or online media can give anyone a negative outlook. You can’t change what your students watch out of school, but you can spend more time with people who make you feel great.
Share. Sharing is a key sign of abundance – you’ve got so much you’re giving it away. This could be sharing resources like we all do, or having a student share how they solved a problem.
Reflect the influence you want to have. If you keep a negative tone, is it any wonder the students mirror that.
Being a teacher could be the most abundant profession, is it like that in your classroom?