Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Growth

Throughout childhood we are aware of vertical development. Many a kitchen wall holds the recorded history of young upward growth. As adults we may be more concerned about horizontal expansion. Thankfully the bathroom scale doesn’t generate a similar, wall-based record.

Physical growth is automatic; personal and professional growth, in contrast, are optional. We . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Growth

Teaching Resilience: Reflection

“I’m so stupid. I’ll never get this!” The message looped inside Kent’s mind, its echoes blinding him to any way forward. When his teacher came by, she assumed he was daydreaming and not giving the practice exercises any effort. A reprimand followed, Kent looked back at the work in front of him, and . . . → Read More: Teaching Resilience: Reflection

Teaching Resilience: Imagination

Samantha exhales and brings her hands to the sides of her forehead. Her thoughts begin a downward spiral. “I can only get so far before I don’t know what to do next. I’m not good at writing. I never have been, and don’t think I ever will be.” Her teacher, Mr. Williams, watches . . . → Read More: Teaching Resilience: Imagination

Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Creativity

Creativity. The word stirs and scares us. We associate it with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Barrie’s Peter Pan, Botticelli’s Temptations of Christ, and other incomparable artistic achievements. But creativity empowers more than art; it is found wherever success and effectiveness thrive, and in organizations characterized by a learning mindset.

Dis- & Re-

Creativity arises . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Creativity

Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Passion

The cluster of strangers sitting or standing closely together reveals where an airport gate’s electrical outlets are located. Most travelers follow the unwritten rule of leaving an empty seat between them and the nearest fellow traveler. (Apparently we replicate what we hope to find in airplane seating while still at the gate.) However, . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Passion

Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Gratitude

Cooper’s hawks commonly take wing outside my home’s rear windows. They are majestic birds, soaring effortlessly over the wooded terrain. Occasionally, one or two find an updraft and soar in an ascending spiral, the uplifting thermal keeping them airborne and rising.

Gratitude is like that thermal. It lifts us, both as givers and . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Gratitude

Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Curiosity

Curiosity gets a bad rap. First there’s that whole feline demise thing, and then there’s that literary, trouble-making monkey who required regular rescuing by the man in banana-colored headwear.

These are unfortunate portraits, because curiosity is constructive. Growing individuals and organizations reap the benefits of curiosity by embracing mystery, asking questions, and pursuing . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Curiosity

Looking Around: Creating a Learning Environment (Even Without a Teacher)

We sat, afraid to move lest we interfere with the learning and interaction we were witnessing. Children — young children — moved throughout the classroom, carrying various materials while maneuvering around tables with teapots and an occasional flower vase before landing and unpacking their selected treasures. The materials were designed to foster discovery, engage . . . → Read More: Looking Around: Creating a Learning Environment (Even Without a Teacher)

Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Attitude

The racket was alarming—a crash, followed by my mother’s footsteps rushing down the cellar steps as she hollered my father’s name.

In a rare driving mishap, my dad knocked down one of our home’s main support posts while backing into the garage. Once she established that Dad was unharmed, Mom marveled that the . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Attitude

Teaching by Modeling: A Tale of Basketball & Mirror Neurons

Basketball

My high school basketball coach was the epitome of patience. Over and over, he’d work with me, trying desperately to help me develop an actual jump shot. I improved but never felt confident with the move. (Fortunately my lack of game didn’t affect the entire Washburn gene pool. I have a nephew who . . . → Read More: Teaching by Modeling: A Tale of Basketball & Mirror Neurons