Guest Blog Post by Susie Rolander @suzrolander
On April 7, 2016 #G2Great, we were lucky to have Meenoo Rami, author of Thrive, as a guest host on our Thursday night chat. Just as her book helps us to thrive in the professional work that we do, Meenoo’s message on the chat was that when we make our own learning a priority, our students in turn benefit greatly.
Meenoo’s message supports Carol Dweck’s idea of growth mindset. Since the publication in 2006 of her book, Mindset, Dweck continues to remind us that we are actually on a continuum between fixed mindset and growth mindset. My friend @JDolci, an amazing educator, lifelong learner and questioner, illustrated this continuum when he was faced with putting together a complicated easel this week. He reverted into the “I am so terrible at putting things together” mindset but luckily used the growth mindset to assemble it (with the encouragement of our Voxer network). As we work to strengthen our professional growth mindset, Meenoo’s message helps to guide us. Her words give us a roadmap for our own learning journey.
Meenoo’s tweet reflects a responsibility that we all have to reach out to others in the teaching community in order to help them grow. Thrive gives us a template to offer to teachers in our community. This message of mentorship is more important than it has ever been before because many teachers feel isolated. Meenoo encourages us to step outside the boundaries of our school environment to connect with a greater teaching community.
A dear friend has been teaching for over 20 years. She goes to the end of the earth for her students but she hadn’t read a professional book in years and had no current mentor to look up to. By her own admission, she was stuck, isolated and bored. Her years of experience and successes in the classroom make her such an invaluable asset to her school community, but she lacks the spark, the drive and the community to help her grow. She was eager to learn but the PD her district offered never seemed to meet her personal learning needs. I shared with her that Twitter has provided me a platform where I can grow in the company of others. She was ready to break down those barriers.
Meenoo suggests here that as mentors ourselves we don’t want to change others, only spark their own personal growth. She also clearly advocates that we all hold the roles of both mentor and mentee and she encourages us to help others learn and learn from others. Meenoo emphasizes the importance of being in a community of learners in order to thrive, but we each have to find our own path to accomplish this. Professional inspiration can come from many sources, including our students.
Herein lies the great impact of Meenoo Rami’s book, Thrive. She gives us, the teaching community, a guide to help us all continue to grow and learn as teachers, no matter how long we’ve been in the field. She lays down the groundwork to be able to cultivate a growth mindset around our very important work. As guest host on this week’s #G2Great chat, Meeno shared her amazing wisdom with a group of eager learners. Her clarity in the importance of growing as educators beyond our comfort zone resulted in changes that could be felt in the course of the chat.
During last night’s chat and in Meenoo’s book, Thrive, she reminded us of the importance of cultivating professional growth and curiosity which, in the end, greatly impacts our students.