A Teacher's Mindset

A core belief I often say is, "The future of education must include teachers who teach with compassion, teach from a strength-based perspective, and engage in equity-mindedness." Most teachers become teachers to enhance the education system and inspire students. However, to meet this goal, they need a particular mindset, an equity-minded mindset. 

Being equity-minded goes beyond viewing situations from multiple perspectives; it also means viewing all learners from a strength-based perspective. Meaning all learners CAN learn. When we view learners from their strengths rather than their deficits, we empower them to believe in themselves, persist through challenging times, and ultimately create positive dispositions in learning. 

Jenning Prevatte, M. Ed.

Picture from  AZUSA Pacific University

Each learner comes to school with a variety of assets. Some align with the school's values, some with the teacher's, while others do not. An educator's responsible for teaching brilliantly so learners can learn brilliantly! Therefore, as leaders in the classroom and school building, it is critical to have a mindset that sees opportunity, growth, and ability in every learner. 

Developing an equity-minded teaching practice has been a focus of mine for a long time. It has been a journey of self-discovery and growth. I draw a lot from my experience working with children with disabilities and strive to choose intentional teaching practices that benefit all learners. In addition, I model these practices for my teacher education students, so they have educational experiences to draw from when they go into the classroom. It has been both challenging and rewarding work.

From my experience, teaching is both mentally and emotionally demanding! Finding solutions and ways to do the critical work of teaching and learning with an equity-minded mindset is essential to high-quality education. Ultimately, students are at the center of teaching and learning; therefore, having an equity-minded mindset and creating learning partnerships with students is critical to educators' work. It is easy to say, "Be equity-minded," but what does that mean? Being an equity-minded teacher means that we are aware of the inequities in our school buildings, the classroom, our communities, and society and take intentional action to disrupt those inequities.

Educators can disrupt inequalities by providing and creating equitable learning environments and opportunities that ensure all students succeed. 

For example,

Through these inclusive teaching practices, educators create inclusive learning environments that support all learners. Education can build bridges and create equitable environments for all, making substantial societal changes. Our diversity is our strength and should be celebrated for our talents.

Furthermore, creating a learning environment where all voices are heard lets students know that diverse perspectives are welcomed. Educators should inform students that intolerance and disrespect will not be permitted. We all have our own lived experiences, values, and perspectives. Discourse is daily, and engaging in academic discussion that seeks understanding is critical to learning but does not always provide solutions or agreement. Therefore, teaching students to listen to others' experiences and stories without judgment is essential for lifelong success. Modeling this skill with your students supports their development and demonstrates that you are a learner and a teacher. In addition, it supports the collaborative work that is done together as learning partners.

Teach Brilliantly! Connect, engage, and inspire your students through an equity-minded teacher mindset. You are talented! You are brilliant! They are talented! They are brilliant! Ensure they know you believe in them and value the strengths and abilities they bring to the classroom this year.

If you haven't had a chance to check out my new Teach Brilliantly Toolkit, please do. In the Toolkit, I share evidence-based practices that connect the heart of teaching and the knowledge of quality teaching practices to enhance learning environments for all learners. In addition, I have a great selection of recommended books on my website. 

I hope you find the resources valuable to your practice. Have a fantastic year!

Always remember!

You are talented! You are brilliant!

You connect, engage, and inspire the future!