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Su Temlett on Growth Mindset

By Thomas O'Donahoo on 8 April 2020Atomi Brainwaves PodcastNSWstaffroomUKstaffroom

Su Temlett puts Growth Mindset under the microscope, exploring the differences between a fixed and a growth mindset, the centrality of language to the philosophy, and how a teacher can promote a growth mindset on both an individual and classroom level.

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Atomi Brainwaves Podcast Growth Mindset with special guest Su Temlett
Atomi Brainwaves Podcast: Su Temlett on Growth Mindset

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[Music playing]

Simon: Hey there everybody and welcome to Atomi Brainwaves.  I’m your host Simon and I’m joined today by Su.  Hello Su.

Su: Hi Simon.

Simon: How was your lunch?

Su: It was very good thank you.

Simon: Yes, just letting everyone know we’re recording after lunch.

Su: Yep.

Simon: Bringing up post-lunch energy.

Su: Yeah two plates down (laughing).

Simon: Yes, two plates down, one to go.  Doing well.  We are recording here in the studio at Atomi HQ.  Atomi is an online resource for secondary education, a platform used by students and teachers alike to help make education awesome and engaging.  We provide content for schools and students in Australia and the UK in the form of short digestible syllabus-specific videos and classroom activities.  Unsurprisingly, this is a podcast about education for educators.  We’re going to be taking a look at some key issues in the world of education and doing it with the help of our resident teaching expert, former head of English, digital learning leader for curriculum and pedagogy and Director of Curriculum, Su.  Today we are tackling growth mindset.  Su, what is growth mindset, and why is it such a relevant concept for teachers?

Su: Well, Simon, around 30 years ago, a lady called Carol Dweck and her colleagues started looking at student attitudes towards failure and they saw that some students would bounce back after a setback whilst some others would seem really devastated by even the smallest fail, and from that direct kind of term or the term “growth mindset” and it’s basically trying to encapsulate the underlying belief that people have about their learning and their intelligence.  Their premises view their attitude towards your intelligence is malleable and you think that it can grow, therefore you can believe that you can do something.  You know, for example, you’re not a good reader but you think I can be a better reader, then when you sort of apply that with some effort essentially you can...

Simon: Improve...

Su: Improve and makes you stronger.  And so the term “growth mindset” is applied to the notion that you can get better at something.  So you might not be great at it yet but with practice and determination you can get better at it.  It’s important for teachers because a student’s mindset to like a task or a skill or a text or even a subject it’s fundamental to have a go.  So if you take say a Year 9 student in an oral presentation, he’s doing it in front of the class and they think I’m no good at public speaking.  You set the task, and this has happened to me hundreds of times, you set the task and they say “It’s public speaking, I can’t do public speaking, I’ve never done well at public speaking” and they’ve got all this negative self-talk.  A kid with a growth mindset wouldn’t do that.  A kid with a growth mindset would sort of say “I didn’t do great at it last time, but these are the things I did wrong or these are the things I need to improve, and therefore I’m gonna do better at those this time”.  So it’s sort of tackling things with determination and with that ability to believe in yourself, I guess.

Simon: And I suppose a major source of where the relevance comes from is that this idea of having a growth mindset I guess would be fair to say nowhere is more important than when you are a child, right.  Having that capacity to think you can improve, obviously it’s valuable all the way through your life, but at those pivotal formative years, that’s when it’s the most important to have.  That’s the relevance and importance to teachers.

Su: Yeah, and it’s a funny skill because if you watch a baby learning to sit or crawl or walk, a baby learning to crawl does not stop the first time they fall over, like they do it and do it and do it until they can crawl, and then they crawl and crawl and crawl until they can sort of stand and then you know...so when it comes to a skill like that, they take many, many setbacks every single day of every minute of the day, but they often carry on...

Simon: Often with hilarious consequences...

Su: Hilarious, and they’ve got nappies on so it does at least pad their bottoms and stuff, but you know when it’s something like that they overcome it.  But somewhere through childhood, that becomes sort of like a skill that they lose and suddenly they become shy or worried about something or anxious cause they failed it last time or they got a bad report on that or so and so might have laughed at them in class.  Loads of different examples, many different trigger points that can make somebody feel “I can’t do this”, but it’s then I guess changing that narrative around.  Instead of “I can’t do this”, a lot of schools use the sort of narrative self-talk, “I can’t do this yet” and just that simple three letter word is very powerful, “I haven’t been able to do it yet but I will”.

Simon: Yeah the unspoken thing, exactly it’s that “I will be able to”.  So I guess the other side of the coin of growth mindset is the idea of a fixed mindset as opposed to the “I can’t do it yet”, it’s the “I can’t do it and I never will be”.  Could you talk me through the dangers of having a fixed mindset in a student’s development and also how a teacher might recognise it?  What are the tell-tail signs that a student is fearful, is struggling, but it’s not just the “Oh this is really hard”, it’s “This is really hard and I’ve essentially given up”?

Su: I think it’s in the language that they use.  So you’ll hear from the very, very negative self-talk, so they might say kind of jokingly or incidentally, but if you’re in tune and listening for it, then that’s where you can jump in...probably not publicly in front of the whole class you know, “Oh Johnny of course you can” kind of thing...

Simon: Pushing Johnny further and further into that hole...

Su: That hole of “Leave me alone, I can’t do this”.  But just encouraging small steps.  If a kid is very, very fixed in an “I can’t do this”, then it’s a real mentoring situation to move them into “So you think you can’t do it.  Let’s take one chunk of it and let’s make it so you can do that”.  And then I guess it’s like building that sense of self-assurance that you manage to do that bit so now you can do the next bit and the next bit...and hopefully that will change whatever’s fixed in their mindset.  But the first question you asked was the danger of it, like the big danger in education is obviously that they just pigeonhole themselves, so I’ll go back to the oral test, the oral example, that used to be a skill that was sort of a languages-based skill and then in the English classroom but now every syllabus across the curriculum has an oral component to build on speaking and listening skills and stuff.  So a student can’t really any longer say “Oh I don’t do oral tasks” or “I can’t do them” because they’ve got to, they’re exposed to them throughout their whole level of subjects.  So if you’ve got a fixed mindset on that, you’re actually pigeonholing yourself into like “I can’t succeed in any of these whenever I get an oral task” and that will have really bad repercussions across the whole of your subjects.  So when you can break that down working to the growth mindset idea of it, you can still not like something like “I don’t like oral tasks but I’m going to be able to do it” and then at least you can open up avenues for getting marks in those assessments across your subjects.

Simon: Yeah absolutely and I guess let’s turn our attention for just a moment to kind of the more technique element involved of growth mindset and one thing that really stands out is the kind of critical importance of language and language choices when it comes to teachers cultivating growth mindset and I think something that has touched on a lot is this idea that there’s a difference between positive language and positive language that reinforces a growth mindset, those two...despite what a lot of people might think...if you think you’re being positive you might be doing the exact opposite.  I was wondering if you could give us a few examples where this divergence is, what are some good language choices that teachers should make cultivating growth mindset are?

Su: Growth mindset praise concentrates more on effort than on ability.  So rather than you sort of praising soft skills, things like taking a risk or collaboration, perseverance over current anxiety, determination, practice...that sort of thing.  So it could be praise for redrafting an assignment and the determination to improve after each draft rather than praise for the end product.  So its praise I guess for the journey and not the endpoint.  I guess you see it a lot external to the classroom like with parenting, there’s loads of parenting blogs, books, Facebook feeds, everything that sort of clouds my thinking every day, “Am I being a good parent or not?”  One of the things that I read a lot is you shouldn’t just say “good boy”, what are you actually saying “good for”.  So being able to articulate I guess the language around you, what’s the thing that you’re praising and that’s really true with a growth mindset?  So it’s not just the final mark or the end assessment, it’s the journey along the way that you’ve got to concentrate on, and that’s where they can take their soft skills of how they did in that and apply them to the next task...that sort of thing.

Simon: One thing I guess that just comes up for me, now thinking about it, is we probably think a lot in terms of growth mindset about students who are struggling, students who aren’t doing well in a particular subject and have just told themselves, convinced themselves that they can’t do any better and the language choices there but, in actual fact, would it be fair to say that cultivating growth mindset actually also applies in terms of the language choices to students on the other end of the spectrum.  For instance, what I mean by that is say a student has always done extremely well and you’ve always said something along the lines of “Oh Lisa you’re so good at this, you’re just brilliant at English, Maths...” whatever it is, and as a result Lisa comes to believe that it’s just an innate ability so when she inevitably reaches a point down the line where more hard work is required having been told by everyone all the way along “You’re so good”, it’s this thing “I thought I was good, maybe I’m not, maybe I’ve reached my limit...”.  What I’m getting at here is that praising the hard work isn’t just good for students on the lower end of the spectrum, it’s also very important for students who do find it easier to hammer home that point that the effort is the most important thing.

Su: Yes absolutely, like I think the students I’ve seen most crushed by failure are those students who are most used to doing well.  So when they have not, when they’ve missed the mark, for example, like they’ve written a fabulous essay but it didn’t answer the question so they’ve not scored well, then they almost don’t seem to be able to pick themselves back up because along way, like you say, it’s been innate, “I’m good at this” and suddenly they’re like “I’m not good at this” and I guess they haven’t ever experienced the journey of trying harder or trying a bit more determination, that sort of thing.  So the ones that I’ve seen I guess crush down the hardest have been those with the most intelligence sometimes.

Simon: Yeah, which happens across the board in so many fields, it’s not just academic, if you think of sports or music or anything, believing you’re the best until you reach a point where somebody is better.  That’s the moment where if you never had to value the work involved, it can all sort of come down.

Su: And that’s where you need to be able to give yourself that sort of self-talk of what can I do to continue to excel...

Simon: Yeah, and having received that all the way up from teacher and parents obviously make such a different and I guess following on from that idea, so obviously the teacher we talked about the importance of a teacher’s language choices, but inevitably they’re going to be externalities that affect the student’s mindset around their ability.  The immediate one that springs to mind is parents, but even beyond that you’ve got siblings, sibling rivalry, peers...I hear your laughing...I’ve experienced myself so I know.  I guess my question is, for a teacher who’s looking to foster a growth mindset, what can they do to help a student who is facing these kind of external barriers to development their growth mindset.

Su: I think expectations from parents is a big one and I’ve seen that I guess growing more and more, particularly in some of the private schools I’ve worked at where the parents just expect their child to achieve and they expect it almost straightaway, and like “They will just give them time, let them be nurtured, let them grow”, but they want instant wins I guess.  But I think when there are like a range of external influences on a child, rather than letting them buckle underneath them which is a way a lot of students go, like I think you’ve got to have a look at some of the huge difference in anxiety rates in students nowadays than previously, rather than let them buckle I think it’s about getting alongside them and mentoring them and just stepping them through.  Like I said a bit earlier, small steps, small wins, breaking down what would seem like an insurmountable task to something that is just smaller that they can do a little bit, a little bit, and then you praise the journey of that along the way, and gradually that might build up to be a fantastic place, but it might not do.  But either way they’ve not shied away from it, they’ve tackled it, and that’s the sort of journey you need them to go on, and that’s the skill you need them to have.  Not the endpoint, but the determination to succeed along the way.

Simon: And I suppose as long as they are getting that source in a classroom context, it can make a huge difference.  I mean you’ve heard people talking about that one teacher who helped them through, and I suppose in this regard it can very much be the case if they are coming from a home environment where, you know, a fixed mindset is reinforced.

Su: Yeah and I feel for students like that because it’s great for parents to have expectations but not to the point where students sort of lose their joy of learning or their joy of being a child, they’re still children you know.

Simon: And it should be said that very often it’s not the case that the parents are doing this intentionally, it can come from a very good place but it’s really just I suppose a lack of awareness can lead to it.  So it could even be the case that a teacher in that scenario should go out of their way to get in touch with parents, would you say?

Su: Yeah I guess, definitely yeah, and language that parents use can be very important and it can just be throwaway lines like “You’re in Year 7, you’ve got a Maths assessment...” and dad says “I hope you do alright, you did terrible last time”.  It’s not designed to hurt...

Simon: Or even one that springs to mind is “Oh Tommy is the mathsy one” and then you know whoever Tommy’s little brother or sister is hearing that and what they hear is “I’m not”.

Su: Exactly, so it doesn’t need to be malicious or in any way aimed at hurting, it just could be a throwaway line but that can actually give a narrative to a child that I am this or I am that, or say “Your sister is the sporty one, you’re the academic one”, and you might not want to be that one (laughing)...

Simon: “I want to be sporty”...every young boy’s dream...to be the sporty one.  It was not my reality unfortunately.

Su: But I guess it’s about the narrative we build for our children both at school and external to school, you know, in the home, and the more that the school narrative and the parental narrative match, I think the better that the child will be because the two things align.

Simon: Yeah, there isn’t that conflict there.

Su: Yeah.

Simon: Well I guess we’ve talked a lot about the influence of a teacher on an individual level, but of course classrooms aren’t individual, they’re not one-to-one, there’s a whole group there that a teacher needs to look after.  So I guess what I want to ask you next, what can a teacher do to foster a growth mindset within a group context?  What are things they can do to make it an across-the-board for 20/30 students as opposed to just the one-on-one?

Su: Well yeah your classroom dynamics are hugely important and they vary class per class.  Like I wouldn’t like to be a high school student again, I think most of us are happy that we’ve done our time...

Simon: That’s for sure.

Su: And a kid going through high school, you know you’ve got six periods a day, maybe 5 or 6 periods a day with different teachers, different kids usually in different classes, so you’ve got a lot to navigate each time the bell goes and you move into the next classroom.  For me, I think fostering like an inclusive, warm, able to try and fail sort of growth mindset kind of attitude in my classes has got better with experience.  I’ve taught English for 17 years now, maybe 18, I can’t remember, and I think when you really build the trust between a teacher and a student, as well as trust between the students and the students, then that’s when you can let your class fly.  And that depends...there’s different factors in play there like ability, behaviour, you might have a class expect for that one kid and it might be very different the day that kid’s away, that sort of thing.  So there’s lots of different dynamics that go into the life of a class.  But I’ll give you an example, when I first started teaching, if you were reading a text aloud in a class, and a student didn’t want to read, I just let them say “No”, pass over them, like phone a friend, “I don’t need to do it”, but what I ended up with is you’d always get the same kids’ reading and the other, say you might get 3 or 4, and the other...

Simon: The future actors...

Su: (Laughing)  They just love to read...

Simon: “I’ll do it”.

Su: Or they’re in the spelling bee competition or whatever, and the others would just hear the same voices again and again and they would not participate.  And after a few years of this and I guess getting more and more confident in me as the orchestrator of the learning in my room...like I changed from very much owning my room, you’re in my space, these are my rules, and this is how we’re doing it...and so what I then changed to is that everybody would read aloud, there was no excuses, and I set this up at the start of the year.  As a class we would always expect each other’s efforts, everyone would read aloud, and they would trust me to...and I would say this out loud...they would trust me to manage their reading for them.  So if they were stumbling, I wouldn’t make them read a whole page but they couldn’t say not.  So even if I knew it was a student who really didn’t like to read, I might give them two sentences and then I’d ask somebody else to carry on, and next time I might give them three sentences, that sort of thing, and gradually guild it up.  But because they couldn’t say no, they just had to do it and everyone had to do it, so you’re not going to laugh or snigger at somebody else cause soon it’s going to be your turn, and so it’s kind of like that expectation.  And so collectively as a class, all of our skills grew to the point where they would take rolls, if we were reading a novel they would take a roll, they did a novel like they were doing a play, and it would bring it to life a lot more than just sort of like a couple of voices draining on.  But that got to a point where they would just trust me to have their interests at heart and then when I would say at parents evenings, cause the common thing at parents evenings is always to say “So and so doesn’t participate much in class” and the parents would always say “Well how can we get them participating more?”.  Well this was always the way, “She has to read aloud in this class”.  “Oh really, you make her read aloud?”  “Yeah”.  It just became the norm.  And so I think that sort of thing, you need to cultivate in a class but if you’ve got that going on within a class, they would trust the teacher, they’ll trust each other and that’s the safe space to experiment I guess.  If you’ve got growth mindset language, like when I first started teaching we didn’t have that sort of language around the classroom, but often now in schools are doing a full push on growth mindset, they’ve got the language around the classroom, particularly in primary school classrooms.  Like I saw some great ones at my last school where the teacher was literally had phrases and a kids face and like a little stickman and it would say something that they were working on like “I can’t read these sort of syllable words yet”,  and so it was like their target, it was also...

Simon: Like a cute use of...

Su: A cute use of...yeah, and it was really well done and they would change them so that “I’ve managed to do that now”, “I’m going to set something else I can’t do yet” and they would switch it round sort of thing.  So you’ve got a whole school wide growth mindset language, then you can incorporate that into your classroom and it’s kind of like inherent language that goes through the school and if the parents are using that too, even better.

Simon: Just going back to your example about that idea of when you were talking about all the students have to read so that really, in my mind, the ideal group growth because you know there nothing more destructive I guess to a student’s confidence than fellow students’ laughter, you know you hear somebody start laughing at something you’re doing and like “Oh God”.  As you say, if everybody’s doing it, you know what I mean.  I almost feel like even if there was some laughter, because everybody’s doing it everybody would get laughed out, it would balance out and become so much less a venomous influence.

Su: Also nobody knows that so and so doesn’t want to do it, you know what I mean, because nobody’s had the opportunity to go “No Miss” and sort of wanting the world to open up and you go “No, no you have to”, like it’s just expected.

Simon: It’s eliminating a lot of the setups that would breathe the life into the tension.

Su: Yep.

Simon: Well it makes a lot of sense and so far we’ve talked a lot about the positives, the benefits of growth mindset culture.  One criticism that is occasionally levied out is that it can wort of limit the development of emotional competencies.  By that I mean there are those who would say that by constantly praising the students’ work and this idea of “I can’t do this yet” create these false expectations about what they can achieve and in the process stump the development of emotional fortitude.  Do you think this a fair criticism, is there some value in it or do the positives outweigh the negatives there or what are your thoughts?

Su: Well I think it comes down to the sermon really, at its heart growth mindset is trying to grow emotion competencies from being sort of very static interminable and things like emotional competencies that help us interact in positive ways and manage our emotions like relationship skills, confidence coping, self-regulation, self-awareness, they can all be fostered by growth mindset approach.  I think what you’re getting at telling a kid, telling a student that they can do anything is dangerous, so I use an example of a primary school child that I know was taught back in my hometown who thought he could fly...so he jumped off a wall at the school and broke his leg.  You can’t tell a person “Oh you can’t fly yet”, you can’t, that’s not going to work.  So I think if it’s used with the sermon, nobody’s going to do that anyway.  Say you’ve got a kid who really wants to play the trumpet but they can’t get a sound out of it, well of course you can still encourage and them encourage them and see how far they get.  You might not be so...like next week you might be playing in an orchestra sort of thing but I think with the sermon, people who are doing it well are not going to do that anyway.

Simon: Yeah, they’re gonna figure out how far can I go with this encouragement.  Do I need to rein it in?  If I can see this student isn’t going well, then you set more realistic targets and goals.

Su: You’re not trying to make them into superman, and even if it is skill that they never ever master, you’re praising the journey, not the mastering of the journey.  You know what I mean?

Simon: Yeah, that‘s the key difference.

Su: So they might spend their entire life deciding they are going to learn trumpet no matter what they do and you keep praising that, but so long as you do it carefully then that criticism can be eliminated.

Simon: And what also needs to be taken into account is that children aren’t idiots, you know what I mean?  They’re gonna know that you’re an idiot first.  Do you know what I mean?  Students are going to know themselves, they’re going to have a sense of what they can and can’t do, even if it’s not fully developed, and you do reach a point where if you really want to be the best footballer in the school but you keep playing and it’s very obvious that, you know what, football isn’t for you.  Constantly praising that kid’s effort is going to mean forever they’re gonna make it all the way to professional leagues.  They’re going to know themselves and they’re going to gravitate more towards the areas where they themselves know they can improve, so I guess that would be a counterpoint.  Would you agree to that criticism?

Su: Yeah, I think for sure.  Kids aren’t idiots.  They know when praise is fake as well, and so I don’t think you want to be dripping with it all the time, it’s about when you give it, how you give it, and it’s not necessarily...that’s brilliant, that’s brilliant, that’s brilliants, that’s what in many ways the praise is trying to avoid, just kind of selfish shallowness and actually praising a soft skill they can use and transfer.

Simon: Yep for sure.  So I guess for our last point, if we’re zooming it out of the kind of intricacies of growth mindset and into the wider discourse about it, something you touched on yourself earlier is that it’s a more popular practice now and a lot of schools are bringing it in but for all of the positivity around that there are those, for instance, international educator James Anderson who is himself a firm advocate for growth mindset, but he has predicted that this kind of wave of popularity around it is temporary and that the short-term heavy view of schools and educational institutions means that in a couple of years schools are simply going to stop buying into this, they’re going to scrap growth mindset projects.  What do you think can be done in terms of first of all I guess selling growth mindsets, those who are looking to selling it and in terms of schools buying into it to prevent all of the good work that has been done so far going into the wayside in a few years’ time?

Su: Well there’s lots of things that come and go in education (laughing).

Simon: Very true.

Su: Yeah lots.  Carol Dweck and her colleague David Yeager have kind of violated some researchers same thing claiming that there is little value added to academic performance through fostering a growth mindset.  But they’ve sort of indicated that there’s lots of studies on that but they’re sort of saying resorts are verdicts out on it I guess at the moment and Dweck and Yeager are defending it.  But whether or not it’s been criticised or being accepted I think everyone is sort of agreeing there is some benefit, there’s just disagreement over how much benefit.  And I think particularly to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or vulnerable populations there’s huge benefit.  In terms of an educational movement in the way that the school stops it from being a fad, that’s really down to how schools stop anything from being fads, and that’s if a school believes in it so much, you know growth mindset, problem base learning, whatever it is they sort of hang their hat on, it’s about embedding it into their practice and so one of the ways to do that really effectively is to create a teaching/learning framework that is particular to your school that might include some of the language of growth mindset.  Again, you don’t have to adopt everything, but some schools will see more that resinates with them than others, so when you begin to own it as a school, you then bunker it down, put it into your professional development program, educate parents around it so they’re using the same language that you’re doing and then you do it consistently for years, not sort of changing with the wind cause something else has come out, that sort of thing.  And then it becomes really integral in the classroom, the curriculum and the assessment process.  Along with that though, as things do change in education, you can’t be stagnant, so keep revisiting it, keep sort of saying are will still behind this, and change parts of it if you think there is relevant enough research for why you want to change it.  But I think most of the fads in education come and go because people aren’t prepared to...well you know, the senior exec or the exec of the school are not necessarily prepared to really hammer down on one thing, and that resorts in teachers not knowing...like this year we were doing that, next year we’re doing this, what are we doing?  So resorts in teachers I guess not buying in because there’s too much to buy into.  There’s a school down in Dee Why that I’ve seen do really, really well with a building/learning power and their Principal is really 100% behind building/learning power, it’s written by Guy Claxton in the UK and a few years ago when she wanted her school to go down that road, she told everybody that she was 100% behind this, this is what she believed in and they would not do any professional development on anything else for years, it would just be embedding building/learning power, and she’s stuck to that for years.  So if you go to the school...I went to the school in 2016 I think, so they’ve been doing it for two years then and it was all through the classrooms, the teachers own the language, they spoke the language, they’d written it, it went through the very core of their school, and that was three years ago now, like it’s still their focus.  I think she’s now writing a book with Guy Claxton as well.  But that’s what I mean, a school really hanging their hat on something stops it from being a fad and from coming and going.

Simon: Which doesn’t require not recognising any flaws and faults in it, but it means taking a viewpoint I guess.  What you’re saying is “We’ll commit fully to this and we’ll correct the errors as they arise, but we won’t abandon it because we hit...”

Su: Yeah, we still believe in it and I think then it also becomes your point of difference, you sell your school on that, “We are this type of school and we believe in this”, and that’s where obviously if you’re a private school that’s what your selling point is and that’s why people go there.

Simon: Okay, sounds like a good roadmap for making growth mindset a success in your school.  That’s all we have time for today on growth mindset.  Before we go, as always, we’re gonna get Su’s hot tip for the week.  This is just a little bit of advice, maybe it’s a little anecdote from her teaching days for teachers, doesn’t have to be that serious.  Su, what’s your hot tip?

Su: This one’s for new teachers or for teachers who are sort of first in their early career stages, thinking of them sort of drawing towards the end of term here in Australia, and thinking of those exhausted teachers as they’re getting to Term 4, Week 8, for some of those who are in their first years or even first year, it can be a very, very tiring, overwhelming place just managing classrooms, the whole workload, that sort of thing.  As the holidays approach, I guess I would just want to encourage these teachers to take a step back and what defines your classroom, so the example I gave earlier about my very simple rule that everyone had to read aloud, that was because I wanted to sort of have expectations of trust within the classroom, and everyone participated.  That was one of my rules I guess, everyone participates.  So just think what defines your classroom.  Do your students know what that is?  Do they know that when they come into your classroom it’s different and what it that’s different, what sort of denotes you as a teacher, and what denotes your classroom?  And then keep fostering it your interactions with students until it becomes very much the livelihood of your classroom.  So just time for reflection I guess over the holidays, what defines your classroom and your teaching?

Simon: Sound advice for all the new teachers out there.  That is all we have time for today.  Thanks for listening everybody.  Hope to see you back again for wherever we land in the educational world next.  In the meantime, if you like what you hear, check us out on our main site here.  For now, it’s goodbye from Su...

Su: Bye Simon.

Simon: Bye bye.  And it’s goodbye from me.

[Music playing]

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