- The challenges of online and blended learning, along with the Great Resignation, are putting additional stress on educators everywhere.
- Adopting a growth mindset can help teachers meet those challenges successfully.
- Using the right communication tools is essential to maintaining a growth mindset.
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The last two years have been tough for teachers. The sudden switch to online and blended learning in March 2020 has prompted a total reevaluation of the profession.
Teachers are now experiencing unprecedented burnout. A Rand study found that a quarter of teachers planned to quit at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Like many other professions, teaching is facing significant job vacancies due to the Great Resignation.
One way to face the adversity of the situation is to embrace a growth mindset. Someone who has a growth mindset believes that their skills can be improved through hard work. Having a growth mindset means that you are responsible for your own success.
With a growth mindset in place, the hardships of pandemic teaching become a challenge to be overcome instead of an insurmountable issue. By focusing on improving your skills, rather than on your problems, you can find success. Embrace blended teaching instead of avoiding it.
How to adopt a growth mindset
To adopt a growth mindset, consider taking these steps:
- Adopt modern technology
- Embrace patience
- Move into your growth zone
- Clarify your goals
- Give and receive feedback
1. Adopt modern technology
The constantly changing nature of technology may give you pause and force you out of your comfort zone. Rather than viewing technology as an enemy, reframe it in your mind as a tool that is uniquely suited to supporting a growth mindset.
Ed-tech can help you expand your skillset and grow as an educator. Better yet, well-designed ed-tech can make the growth process easy. For example, RingCentral’s hybrid learning platform provides one secure workspace that brings students, faculty, and campus communities together.
With features like team messaging, phone, video conferencing, and contact center capabilities, RingCentral keeps you connected with other educators and support staff. Similarly, this hybrid learning platform powers your virtual classroom, keeping you connected with students. With RingCentral, you can teach from virtually anywhere.
Familiarizing yourself with all your ed-tech tools and taking time to learn what is available to you is a great way to foster your growth mindset.
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2. Embrace patience
Recognize that everything worth doing takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is anything in the classroom.
Embracing patience can help you adopt a growth mindset by encouraging persistence and by keeping goals realistic.
When you are patient, you are able to keep persistently grinding away at your work. Real success comes from persistent effort.
By embracing patience, you adopt a realistic mindset. When you acknowledge that even small goals will take time, this prevents you from taking on too much at once. In the end, small, realistic goals have a better chance of succeeding.
3. Move into your growth zone
Most of us live our lives in our comfort zone, but that’s not where real growth happens. Adopting a growth mindset means leaving the comfort zone and entering the growth zone.
Your attitudes about work determine which “zone” you inhabit. You can think of yourself falling into three different zones:
- The comfort zone
- The learning zone
- The growth zone
In the comfort zone, you may have certain mindsets:
- My current knowledge and skills are enough.
- The tools I have are all I need.
- My team doesn’t need any more help.
Adopting a growth mindset and pushing just a little bit out of the comfort zone will bring you to the learning zone. Here, you have different attitudes:
- I should set challenges for myself.
- I should seek extra training or mentorship.
- I can prepare new class activities.
The growth zone is characterized by the actions your mindset produces:
- Thinking outside the box
- Setting new goals
- Giving and receiving feedback
Think about which “zone” you spend most of your time in right now. You may fall into different zones in different aspects of your life. If your work is consistently falling into your comfort zone, consider adopting new attitudes that will lead to growth actions.
4. Clarify your goals
It’s easy to set goals. It’s harder to set good goals, ones that you will actually complete. Setting bad goals is one of the leading causes of failure.
To set good goals, consider using the SMART guideline:
Having specific goals keeps you on track by keeping the exact goal in mind. Vague goals lead to inconsistent actions. Measurable goals provide a way for you to determine if you have succeeded. Without measurable goals, you may quit before achieving true success. Setting an achievable goal ensures that you can actually complete the task. It also forces you to be realistic in considering what will go into success. Relevant goals keep you on track. Otherwise, you may find yourself attending to tasks that are not specific to your aims. Time-bound goals keep you on schedule. Without some sort of timeline, it is easy to keep putting off action forever.
5. Give and receive feedback
Feedback helps both parties at once. You learn from giving feedback and from receiving it.
The main reason why most people don’t want to receive feedback is that they fear being judged. But this fear is what keeps you in your comfort zone. Moving past it will lead to a growth mindset.
Consider how you might give and receive feedback in the classroom. You could conduct anonymous surveys from your students to find out which activities they thought they learned the most from. You could also ask a fellow teacher to observe your class for an hour and take notes.
Support your growth mindset with RingCentral
A growth mindset helps you transform challenges into opportunities. Make it your aim to move out of your comfort zone, embrace patience, and improve your communication skills with the right tools.
RingCentral can support your goal of maintaining a growth mindset by providing the communication tools you need to communicate and collaborate with peers and students more effectively. RingCentral for Education offers team messaging, phone, video, and contact center capabilities—all in one convenient application that offers any time, anywhere secure access. Request a demo from RingCentral today.
Originally published Mar 01, 2022