You might have read today’s blog title and found yourself saying — ENJOYING report writing? Chantelle are you crazy?!!!!
I totally get it – report writing can be super stressful, time-consuming and challenging, but want to know the secret to you as a teacher actually enjoying the report writing season? In my opinion, it’s a Growth Mindset… and I’m not talking about our students here, I’m talking about US!!! Here’s how…
#1 Shift your negative self-talk to a growth mindset
When you become a teacher, writing reports for the first time is a bit like having a baby… all you hear are terrifying stories about how painful it is!
Whilst writing reports is undoubtedly a huge challenge…it is absolutely do-able.
This is why having a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset, around your ability to get through report writing is #1 on my Report Writing Self Care list.
So…what are some of your FIXED mindsets around report writing? Do any of the following beliefs pop into your head?
- I’m so bad at report writing!
- Writing reports is one of the most stressful things about being a teacher!
- Report writing takes sooooo long!
- What’s the point…parents barely look at them!
- I have no idea how to write reports!!!
- I absolutely HATE report writing!!!
Writing reports with these fixed mindsets has a HUGE impact on how you experience the report writing season. I have seen the big difference that moving from a fixed to growth mindset makes on student’s progress in the classroom, so why not implement the strategies we teach the children to benefit US!!
Let’s be kind to ourselves and reframe some of our fixed self-talk around reports for a happier report writing season.
How to make the GROWTH mindset shift? Here’s some examples…
- I can improve at report writing and continue to get better.
- I’m going to train my brain to write reports stress-free.
- This takes time and effort and it’s worth it for my students!
- I’ll use some of the strategies I’ve learnt to engage the parents in reading reports.
- I’m on track with writing reports.
- I’m excited to see how much my kids have progressed. It’s amazing what we’ve achieved!
Framing your thoughts in a more positive way might even lead to enjoying reports. You never know! ;)
#2 Encourage a Growth Mindset culture in your classroom
During assessment times, no matter how stealthily you are assessing your students or how fun you make it…there’s always a vibe. More often than not, your students know that they’re being assessed and if this isn’t their first rodeo, they also know that reports are coming!!
For some students, this is a fantastic time where they receive positive feedback from you and their parents. For other students, it’s a time where they realise that they are not at the same place as their peers and it can be quite difficult for them. Therefore, it’s so important that we set our students up to feel positive in this time no matter where they are at in their learning. And growth mindset is the perfect tool to use!
Studies have proven that encouraging a growth mindset in classrooms increases motivation levels, self esteem and productivity. Whilst improving all of these learning outcomes is fantastic…it’s the self esteem one that I want to talk about today. We want our students to feel great about themselves at this time of year. They’ve spent two terms working hard at learning and growing, so we want to help them SEE how amazing they are and will continue to be.
What I love about growth mindset is that it helps students change their mindset from a fixed one and encourages them to use positive language. It’s fantastic for students who are feeling negative about themselves, and it also has something to offer students who are a little bit overconfident (you know the ones!!). So when a student says, “I’m so bad at maths” with a fixed mindset, we can invite them into a growth mindset and shift them into thinking and saying, “I’m going to try my best at maths”. I know it seems like such a small thing, but the language is incredibly POWERFUL. The way that I introduce Growth Mindset into my classroom is by using my Growth Mindset Posters.
Unfortunately, we can’t just slap them on the walls and hope for the best! We need to teach the concept to our class, integrate it into our lessons and then refer to them all the time. It’s quite a shift in how we are shaped to use language, so it takes a lot of reframing of your students language to begin with. If you haven’t used it yet this year, now is the perfect time to start.
My Growth Mindset Posters include 10 posters with various motivational quotes and words of encouragement for you to model and display in your room with your students. These are a great way to teach the concept of Growth Mindset, with encouraging quotes like “Change your words, change your mind” and “Every mistake you make is progress”. The ones that your students really respond to can become like catch-phrases that you refer to regularly and your kids repeat back to you with such exuberant possibility!
My Growth Mindset Posters and Display are a fantastic resource for creating an entire Growth Mindset bulletin board in your classroom, with bright and colourful pictures and student-friendly language. It’s a fantastic visual for your classroom because it equips your students to notice their fixed mindset, refer to the bulletin board and reframe it with a growth mindset. The pack includes 10 fixed mindset common classroom comments and 10 growth mindset comments to counteract the fixed mindset.
- If you are struggling for hanging space, print them 2 to a page, or even enlarge to A3 when printing
- You could print out a few of the posters that are meaningful and relevant to your students and place them in a prominent area in the classroom.
One of my absolute FAVOURITE things to see in the classroom is when a student says a fixed mindset, then another student corrects them with a growth mindset statement. When a student loses it and throws a pencil onto their table with a “I can’t do this!!!”, only to hear a small voice next to them say, “You’re on the right track”…it makes my heart absolutely burst to see students encouraging one another to see their potential with a positive outlook.
So, have a think about how you could introduce Growth Mindset into your classroom to get your students ready for receiving their reports. What growth mindset comments can you create to counteract the fixed mindsets that might come up during reports?