Preparing to Teach: Mindset

It’s that time of year again! I know some of you have been back in the classroom for a month or so, but my institution is on the quarter system so we are just back on contract and doing Faculty Kick Off Week stuffs this week to start teaching next Monday.

I’ve been preparing my classes. I’m looking forward to teaching this year more than I have in the past few years as I was serving in an administrative role. So, it is fun to reacquaint myself with values and practices of teaching and learning again. My roots!!

I want to be intentional about my mindset as I’m creating and launching my courses this term.

Mindset is defined as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” (google’s response when I searched “define mindset”). So, not just one attitude but a set of attitudes. Okay – attitudes? Attitude is defined as, “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.”

Interesting – a “settled way of thinking or feeling” that is typically reflected in a person’s behavior.

What do I want my behavior to reflect about my attitudes and mindset? What about my values?

I want my students to know that I care about them, the content, and the discipline.

I want them to know that I value learning through self-discovery and self-regulation.

I want them to see that I am responsive to inquiries and guiding deep reflection and development of deep knowing.

I want them to know that I believe in them and trust them in their learning and development process – that they are becoming experts on their own work. That they are becoming experts in their own decision-making able to justify if challenged, explain to a colleague, and/or continue engaging even if consequences end up going awry.

I want to reflect my belief (developing commitment) to the idea that grading matters for learning. I want to intentionally engage from that mindset. Setting aside time to do it “as if it matters.”

I want to reinforce the idea of learning as uncovering materials rather than an arbitrary need to cover a certain amount of content.

I want students to know that learning is life long – they will NOT learn all they need to know in my classroom, they will learn how to learn, research, and be curious practitioners.

Questions to Deepen Your Practice:

  • What would you describe as your current mindset toward teaching/mentoring/interpreting?
  • What do you want to prioritize in your mindset for the next bit of time?
  • What behaviors do you intend to practice as reflections of your mindset?

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