#9 – Foster a Growth Mindset for Teachers and Students

Unpacking Education October 14, 2020 20 min

Developing a growth mindset is equally applicable to teachers and students. This week’s podcast explores what growth-mindset development can look like for you and your students, what it means for remote learning, and suggestions for how you can nurture and model a growth mindset for the benefit of your students and yourself.

Join our Digital Learning Specialists as they share their stories from the classroom, where they have helped students identify moments of growth and have processed their own out loud. Learn how these moments help build trust in your face-to-face or virtual classroom while also modeling for students the positive power of persisting through challenges.

Paul Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
Digital Learning Coach
Pamela Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist

Below, you will find resources and tips shared during the podcast to support your virtual teaching goals.

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’

Audrey Hepburn, actress


In this week’s episode, we discuss the following strategies and resources that are available on AVID Open Access for you to explore in more depth.

Create Space for New Ideas and Build Time for Self-Reflection

Now more than ever, it’s important to be intentional about teaching and modeling growth mindset. As our digital learning strategists share in this week’s episode, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important. However, most important is the underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. Growth mindset is at the foundation of learning, where students come to realize the impact of their effort and attitude on their abilities. Check out the strategies below for helping students practice growth mindset by modeling your own.

Model Learning Mindsets

Teach students about growth mindset. Help students adopt a new mindset through modeling and labeling their experiences. Start by collaboratively defining what growth mindset looks like as a class. Y-charts allow your students to work together in describing what a growth mindset looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

  • Use literary examples. Stories that illustrate a character’s growth in easy-to-map steps are a great way to help students internalize concrete examples of growth mindset.
    • Tip! Picture books that model growth mindset: Picture books, such as After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat and Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall, are wonderful resources to engage younger students in a rich dialogue about risk, persistence, and self-belief.
  • When you see growth mindset in your students, identify it. Help students identify these moments. Label it so that they have references to recall.

Nurture your own growth mindset. Just as we teach our students to continuously grow, learn, and change, so must we. When so much is in flux, practicing a growth mindset reminds us to acknowledge who we currently are and to keep growing beyond what we are today.

  • Model positive self-talk. Virtual teaching provides many opportunities to call attention to our learning mindset, as we, oftentimes, need to wrangle with technology. These moments allow you to model what you do to shift your mindset during challenging experiences. Is a digital tool not working the way you expect? Your external dialogue illustrates to students what problem-solving, persistence, and positive self-talk look like. Moreover, by putting the problem in the room, you are demonstrating a respect for the knowledge that students bring to help solve the issue while also modeling lifelong learning.

Digital Tools

Let us help you look for new ways to engage students online. We share tips for the following digital tool in this week’s episode.

eBinders and ePortfolios are powerful tools to help your students collect their work, reflect on their learning process, and see their growth as a learner over time.

  • eBinders. AVID eBinders work best using Google Sites or a Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook. The following links have all the templates and instructions you need to start using eBinders with your students:
  • Tip! Be mindful of digital tattoos. Studies show that when students turn in a portfolio with their college application, more time will be spent evaluating the application. Colleges and universities also take the time to look at students’ social footprint. Portfolios provide students with positive exemplars that will boost their digital tattoo.
  • Seesaw: Seesaw (Tips) portfolios give students choices in how they demonstrate their learning. Students, particularly our youngest learners, benefit from the variety of powerful and intuitive tools, such as draw + record, collage, video, and more, to show what they know in the way that works best for them. With tangible artifacts to return to, students have opportunities to reflect on their learning process over time, and it gives them something that they’re proud to share with others.