This year I have taken over a class after a month and a half of being taught by another teacher with a different mentality and different teaching style. It has been a tough three weeks for both the students and myself, but for the most part we are all getting used to each others tendencies. Included in the Growth Mindset approach to my teaching, I am trying to help my students (both that I teach and coach) about resiliency.
In the mixed level math class the students had a test from the last teacher that needed to be done when I walked in. I immediately worked on diffusing the anger and outbursts that the students had towards doing a test after not being properly prepared. We spent a few lessons ironing out any misconceptions, and my main goal was to instill confidence in their abilities. I knew that most of the students would be successful but needed to have the right mindset to do so.
As I anticipated, there were students who were not thrilled with the outcome of their test. I tried to talk to those students individually by letting them know that there is always a chance to improve and a chance to learn from our mistakes. From that day on, I saw a big change in some of the students and saw them fight through the troubles they had before. Just today I saw them face the challenges of the lesson with a positive attitude and with more courage to take risks.
I had a moment of learning resilience myself. I had a few bad lessons where students were not focused and they had a bit of attitude towards what we were doing in class. After having a bit of a hard time after school with what my next steps were I remembered what I told my students when they were struggling with things. I feel like it is something that new teachers often forget, to live by the words we teach our students. I know that after taking a step back and thinking about it, I was able to bounce back and realize that I need to show the same resiliency that my students showed.