Believing in the growth potential of students, teachers, and leaders

Photo/Dennis Sparks

A teacher with a fixed mindset sees his students as pretty much already where they will be.  If every child’s qualities are carved in stone, then every child’s potential is limited or fixed.  However, a teacher with a growth mindset sees his students as coming to class with enormous potential. Every student holds within him or her an amazing potential waiting to be unlocked. And to this kind of teacher, one of the great joys of teaching is to find the key to unlock that potential. —Jim Knight

Schools that are filled with teachers who possess growth mindsets have principals with growth mindsets. These principals believe that the quality of both teaching and student learning can be continuously improved through teachers’ learning, teamwork, and sustained effort. Likewise, system leaders with growth mindsets believe that the leadership ability of principals and teacher leaders can be developed through leaders’ learning, teamwork with their leadership colleagues, and effort.

In this simple way the system is aligned. Because “intelligence,” teaching skills, and leadership abilities are not fixed traits with which one is born. they can be steadily developed over time with persistence, patience, and generous amounts of support.

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