In college, my best friend was on the cross-country team. For an entire season, she was injured and not running, but she still went to practice. The coach wanted her there because she was such a positive team member and always encouraged others to keep learning and growing. The coach knew her mindset and attitude were a valuable asset to the team, even when she couldn’t run!
During our recent webinar, “Mindset Is A Resource,” Karen Castle, BRM Executive Director of Professional Learning, and Lauren Schultz, BRM Professional Learning Services Manager, provided insight into how cultivating the right mindset can impact an MTSS practice. They discussed how to address barriers to a growth mindset and some practical strategies to improve your team’s collaboration.
When trying to enact change or do the work to transform schools, one of the common barriers is the phrase “Yeah, but…” meaning that someone agrees but right away offers an excuse or reason why something will not change or work.
“Yeah, we would love to talk data, but we don’t have time to meet.”
“I’d love to give the kid that intervention, but can’t get it purchased.”
The key is establishing a culture of saying “Yes, And..” Saying “Yes” in agreement with the truth of the reality of a situation, then adding “And” to indicate the things to do to make a positive difference. It is not about convincing people that the problem is not bad, but is instead putting focus on what we can control.
Here are a few examples:
“We don’t have time to meet.”
AND I could try to communicate updates asynchronously in a shared space
AND we can all plan better so the time we have is more effective
2. The Power of Positive Intent
Collective efficacy is a vital to the work of MTSS. A shared vision that we can work together to support each student toward success enables everyone on the team to assume positive intent in others, including colleagues, administrators, and parents. A positive, solution-focused mindset helps build the team approach necessary to accomplish common goals.
3. The Expectation of Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement involves evaluating, analyzing, and making improvement plans to support students in unique ways. A growth mindset embraces the idea of always learning, and always taking that next step.
A growth mindset is a free but immensely valuable resource
in our work to support students and each other.
Learn more from the full webinar and check out our other leadership resources.
Larissa Napolitan is the Digital Content Creator for Branching Minds and the host of Branching Minds' podcast "Schoolin' Around." As a former middle school English teacher and instructional coach, she has over 13 years of experience building systems for improvement, training and coaching teachers in new technology and instructional methods, and leading efforts to build curriculum and literacy initiatives. She holds Masters's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Education Administration from Emporia State University. Not only is she passionate about using her experience and academic knowledge, but loves to use her writing and voice to make a broader impact on education, teachers, and students.