Chapter 5 of Mindset focused on business mindset and how businesses succeed and grow.  As I read this chapter so many of the lessons spoke to me as a teacher and what we’re doing in our classrooms!

Are we willing to do what it takes to be great teachers and create great learning in our classrooms?   Are we constantly asking questions?  How do we respond to the brutal answers?
A few years ago we got a new evaluation system and I received 2s.  That was below average.  I was furious.  But then I set out to get better.  I researched…I learned…I found new ideas and strategies.  The next year?  All 5s!   Not because I’m great but because I asked questions and did it what takes to be better.  I wasn’t afraid of my mistakes…I learned from them.
Are we trying to constantly improve?
Are we constantly questioning to figure out where you need to go?
What are we willing to do to be great?????

This really hit home with me.   If I were to step back and look at my classroom, our my students just carrying out my plans or are they actively engaged in their learning?  Do they have a voice in how and what we learn?    Is my ego getting in the way of learning?
When I read this I immediately thought of our hopes and dreams activity at the beginning of the year.  I ask students their hopes and dreams for kindergarten  We record ALL of the responses in a circle map.  Great.  BUT I use that circle map to show my students that their voice is valid because I take their hopes and dreams and try to fit all of them into our learning through the year.
(Click the image for my post on hopes and dreams and how we use it to make connections to learning and families!)
We’ve made rockets because someone said they wanted to build a rocket.
We made Chihuly sculptures because someone wanted to learn how to sculpt.
AND I rode a pig.  Because one of my students wanted to learn how to ride a pig.  (I tried really hard to get a real pig…but no luck!)
The point is that my students have a voice in their own learning.
Is this enough?  Probably not.  Do I need to give them more voice?  Yes.  
I always say if we want to have control we have to give our students control.  
In this chapter, the discussion is about great CEOs who drove their companies down because of their leadership.  They were brutal and self centered.  It was all about the CEO and not the company and it’s people.  
We are the CEO of our classroom, so what kind of CEO are we???
Are we making our good classrooms great?  Are we student centered?  
Or are we destroying our classrooms because of our ego????

And finally are we open to ideas regardless of where they come from?
I am so guilty of this.  If I see ideas from certain places/people I immediately discount them.  Guess who I’m hurting?  My KIDS!!!    I need to focus on the ideas and not the sources.    Who cares where the idea came from as long it’s benefitting my kids and their learning?!
Be open…be willing to step out of the box…take risks….try new things….be willing to fail!

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