What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

What do leaders need? And what do they need most?

Susan Young outlines 23 characteristics of outstanding leaders and leadership teams

Susan Young looks at what makes an outstanding school leader.

17 July 2017/Number of views (1060)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Learning to research: good for teachers, parents and children

Susan Young shines a spotlight on the benefits of evidence-informed teaching

Susan Young talks to Early Years teacher, Jane Flood about becoming part of a Research Learning Community.

13 July 2017/Number of views (1138)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

James Ashmore on why middle leaders need to remain optimistic

James Ashmore writes on the importance of staying optimistic as a middle leader.

03 July 2017/Number of views (1103)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
PE and Sport for achievement

PE and Sport for achievement

Guest Blogger Dominic Judge Asks: how can PE and Sport contribute to whole school well-being and performance?

How can school leaders use PE, physical activity and sport to tackle issues of childhood obesity and mental well-being and to drive whole school performance?

20 June 2017/Number of views (882)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Tags:
Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Exploring the reality of support and provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

Jean Gross explores the current provision and support for children with SLCN

Jean Gross outlines the provision and support for children with SLCN.

16 June 2017/Number of views (1375)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

Social mobility and attainment – what can Middle Leaders do?

What teachers and schools can do to help

In the UK today, there are areas where a staggering one in six children are currently living in poverty (Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission).

05 June 2017/Number of views (1697)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Using speakers to inspire young people

Using speakers to inspire young people

How one charity brings high profile speakers into schools

 The charity, Speakers for Schools, gives access to top quality speakers for free

22 May 2017/Number of views (2089)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
What impact could coaching have in your school?

What impact could coaching have in your school?

Lara Ginn, an NAHT Edge Advisory Council member, explores the benefits of setting up a coaching team.

Within a school context it is essential to ensure a level of consistency; a common approach to coaching sessions is important.

09 May 2017/Number of views (2396)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 2)

Developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme.

Exploring video CPD: developing a supportive culture and establishing a solid programme. 

20 April 2017/Number of views (2674)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Getting started with video CPD (Part 1)

Exploring video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

Christophe Mullings, Head of Education at IRIS Connect, explores video CPD and practical strategies for getting started.

19 April 2017/Number of views (2667)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

Recognising leaders who’ve made a difference

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries.

The BELMAS Reflective Practice Award for innovation and critical reflection in education is now open for entries

 

17 March 2017/Number of views (3835)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Chasing happiness

Chasing happiness

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what else could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient?

Guest blogger James Ashmore asks: As a middle leader, what could you do to raise your team’s happiness quotient? 

06 February 2017/Number of views (2504)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Tags:
Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Broadcaster and campaigner Carrie Grant asks how girls with autism can find their voice, and are we truly listening?

How does an autistic person get heard and understood? How do they find their voice? How do we hear their voice? And are we giving space to hear the autistic voice?

30 January 2017/Number of views (3593)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Managing your time

Managing your time

Guest blogger James Ashmore looks at the conflict between a middle leader's personal and professional life

You may feel that your work/life balance is seriously out of kilter and that moving into middle leadership has done nothing to redress this, in fact it’s made it worse.

06 December 2016/Number of views (3719)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Recruitment, retention and middle leaders

Why are schools finding that there is a shortage of middle leaders?

In the short term a dedicated middle leader can make sacrifices, willing to take on more because they are not only ambitious for themselves but committed to high quality education for pupils within their school. But is this sustainable asks Lara Ginn? 

21 November 2016/Number of views (4262)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

Teacher Workload: The Elephant in the Room?

A personal perspective from Lara Ginn

Teacher workload is among one of the greatest issues schools face nowadays. Over recent years this has become a source of wide scale discussion within the profession and in the media. The government has, through recent independent reviews, endeavoured to identify some of the primary factors causing the heavy workload faced by teaching staff and means by which all stakeholders can redress this.

16 November 2016/Number of views (3958)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

“Death neither obeys the school timetable nor appears on it… It enters the classroom without knocking”

Supporting bereavement

By the age of 16 at least one child in every classroom (1 in 29) will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling (Penny & Stubbs, 2015).

08 November 2016/Number of views (3371)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Tags:
Securing and growing great practice in your team

Securing and growing great practice in your team

Top tips for growing great practice

Middle leaders are increasingly recognised for their pivotal role in developing the quality of practice. So how is this being achieved, and how can you plan for this?

24 October 2016/Number of views (3075)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
Tags:
Running Successful Meetings

Running Successful Meetings

Five top tips

Running successful meetings is an often overlooked skill but one that will almost certainly be required of you as a middle leader. The times you have together with your team can be critical to your success and so it is vitally important that they go well. 

18 October 2016/Number of views (4667)/Comments (0)/
Categories: StaffBlogs
Tags:
Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar (nasen 2016)

If you were asked to describe a typical student with autism, what would you say?

It is becoming more and more widely understood that there may well be as many girls and women with autism as there are boys and men, but their needs are not always being identified.

04 October 2016/Number of views (3755)/Comments (0)/
Categories: Blogs
RSS
12

NAHT Edge blogs

rss

Opinion from NAHT Edge bloggers


How praise can lead to self-doubt – and what to do about it

 

How praise can lead to self-doubt – and what to do about it

It feels great to be told we are brilliant, and it makes us more successful. Or does it? How does praise actually affect the mindset and performance of ourselves and our students? As an up-and-coming teacher I was told I needed to praise my students ten times for every criticism but this principle, followed by many of my colleagues, hasn’t led to greater confidence in our classrooms. UK children are neither happy nor confident – even when they have every reason to be. A recent report by the Children’s Society (2015)[1] found that English children self-rated themselves 14th out of 15 countries for life satisfaction and lowest for self-confidence.

Can we blame this on decades of relentless focus on assessment and targets? In recent years there has been a surge of interest from schools in Carol Dweck’s ‘growth mindset’ approach to create more resilient learners. Dweck suggests that having a ‘fixed mindset’ means we believe our ability is innate and our personality is permanent. This is why some children who are told they are ‘clever’ or ‘gifted’ are not up for tasks that they find challenging and may fail at. Failing isn’t congruent with their ‘high achiever’ identity. They would prefer to prove - once again - that they are top dog. But, whatever our starting point, learning is a journey. If children, or we, haven’t got the resilience to cope with struggle then we won’t grow our brains. Hence the performance plateauing of some of our brightest pupils and the learned helplessness or opting out of some of those that discover difficulties.

Growth mindset research makes us think whether praising our students’ ability and outcomes might actually be undermining their confidence and progress. Often the most able learners can get so (unconsciously) hooked on successful outcomes that they become risk averse and prefer to stay within their comfort zones.

We need all our learners to be up for trying the toughest challenges even if they may get them wrong. Children with special needs can thrive from their starting points if they develop determination and resilience. Also there is nothing more frustrating and upsetting for teachers than seeing bright, able children suffer from the self-doubt of the success-addicted perfectionist.

Addicted to success

Fear of being judged and not being good enough can haunt all of us, including some of our brightest and best. No matter how many times we praise them there is a voice inside their heads that doesn’t believe they are as good as we think they are. In fact, the more times we tell them how able, clever and intelligent they are, the more afraid they become of not living up to this description. That self-doubting inner voice may travel with them into their working lives and beyond.

We are tempted to use praise to motivate children that have struggled, failed and so have lost motivation. When at last they do some work, even if it isn’t brilliant, we praise them vigorously for it - ‘Great job, you’ve done some writing! Brilliant!’. But too often we - and they know it isn’t even, ‘good’ or near their best. False praise doesn’t grow anyone, it diminishes them and is totally transparent. That little voice inside says ‘I know it wasn’t good. He’s just trying to make me feel better’.

How should we praise then?

Encouraging a growth mindset approach means praising the effort and strategies used to overcome struggle rather than praising outcomes. It means reminding them that learning is a journey, that a first attempt is rarely the best it can be. It means helping them understand the difference between criticism and feedback - that specific and accurate feedback shows them exactly what they can do next to move forward. Finally, and vitally, it means making sure they respond to the feedback by self-correcting.

A recent Demos report[2] looked at work schools were doing with mindsets and said ‘Mindset development is not just a promising way to improve grades: it is a powerful way to develop healthier more capable young people ready to meet the challenges of twenty first century life.’

Make sure teachers and parents reinforce growth every day

School leaders, teachers and parents need to model growth mindset beliefs and behaviours every day by embedding the following messages at school and at home we and parents can develop children’s resilience:

  • We can all change and grow – that nothing is fixed or forever
  • Learning grows your brain. No matter what our starting point we can always grow to become cleverer
  • Intelligence can be learnt; effort and struggle are the path to mastery
  • Praise and reward effort and strategy, not only outcome or intelligence
  • Reflect on learning as a journey with ups and downs but, above all, keep moving forward.
  • Avoid obsession with the end result
  • Celebrate the struggle of learning because that is when your brain is growing
  • Value, seek out and respond to feedback
  • Do the things you find hard and scary and expand your comfort zone
  • Understand your brain and how it works best to maximise its potential, including understanding anxiety and how to use stress to enhance performance

Schools that create a growth mindset culture make thinking on purpose a powerful lever for growing resilience and school improvement. They have:

  • Classroom teaching that explicitly celebrates the struggle to learn and the processes and strategies used to overcome difficulty
  • Feedback on work which focuses on effort and progress made
  • Teachers and Teaching Assistants who model the growth mindset by being outstanding learners themselves
  • A vision for excellence in personal development for all students and teachers as well as academic achievement
  • Children (and staff) who know how their brains work and how to channel stress to make it useful
  • Parents who are involved in policy making to develop resilience and who know the damage they can do by constantly telling their children they are brilliant or beautiful and by trying to protect them from doing things they don’t like
  • Rotating groups and learning partners to grow strategies
  • Frequent self and peer assessment
  • Target grades treated as a challenge and a journey, not a destination and a judgement
  • Frequent use of effort grades and use attainment grades infrequently
  • DIRT - Dedicated improvement and reflection time . every day when children redraft, review, and edit in response to written or oral feedback from teachers and peers
  • Students who are taught memory techniques and how learning works in the brain so that they can better overcome challenges.

Schools where all children are challenged so hard and so high with exciting, scary projects give them a chance to experience struggle and failure in a culture of unconditional peer support. This nurtures the resilience required for thriving in our uncertain world. Praising effort in this context will help them learn strategies to deal with the frustration of tough learning. Strategies that will help them relish and resolve the considerable challenges of life in the 21st century.

Jackie Beere

This article contains extracts from my book ‘GROW – change your mindset change your life: a practical guide to thinking on purpose’[4]

 

 

[1] The Children’s Society. The Good Childhood Report 2015. Available at www.childrensociety.org.uk/sites/default/files TheGoodChildhoodReport2015.pdf

[2] Demos report ‘Mind over Matter’ 2014

[3] Perfect lesson

[4] Gro




Comments are closed.
Showing 0 Comment