I'm walking into a new school tomorrow to start 2015. With my colleague Amy, we've spent a lot of time getting our heads around how will we work together? In this environment? With these learners? What will the learning look like?
Our principal asked the HPPS staff to spend 2 days offsite getting our head's around the direction of the school for 2015 but importantly he asked that we attend with our Growth Mindset firmly on.
As a newby at the school, it would appear difficult to not have the Growth Mindset on, you're environment is totally different, you have a different group of students and you'll be team-teaching in a school which personalises the learning journey for each of its students. You'd be excused for thinking that this is daunting and it clearly will be at times. One of the first struggles that I have faced I think most would battle with when you start at a new school or any organisation. How do you suggest ideas, concepts and systems without feeling like you're the proverbial new guy, the one who has only been there 5 minutes and already they're full of themself.
I think it is a natural human response to therefore sit back, let others become comfortable with your presence before being a bit more forward in meetings. By not sharing are you accepting your position, ideas and suggestions are of low value and is this a fixed mindset?
However, HPPS staff discuss the mindset regularly, from the perspective of the children as learners, staff as learners and the organisation. As a newby, I've been encouraged to feel comfortable with sharing ideas but reminded that I need to think of the Why at every turn.
Within this school, professional reading is highly valued as a means of justifying decisions but also seeking innovative systems and practice. Since securing my position I have completed plenty of reading, Mindset was the first real chunk, but I've also had to get my head around Hermann's Brain, worked through the Daily 5, and am now looking at Nuthall's The Hidden Lives of Learners. On top of this the management at the school are regularly posting readings to our innovation community page and blogging themselves.
I have really enjoyed getting my head around this new position and the time spent with my new colleagues establishing the new learning common has been a great learning experience.
Tomorrow the children enter their new learning space and I get to truly experience what it is like to be team-teaching.
I have a lot to learn about being part of a team teaching environment, in this environment, with these learners. But as I left school Friday afternoon and while I write this I am so excited about what this year will hold and the learning that is going to occur.
My growth mindset is on. Roll on tomorrow!