This post about the Profile of a Modern Teacher drew my attention immediately. Here is a relatively large, yet compelling, list of the “internal dispositions” of a modern teacher that allow them to continually learn and grow in the expertise of their craft. Which ones come naturally to you? Which ones do you find it most necessary to hone or invoke explicitly?
A modern teacher needs to…
- Choose to be vulnerable
- Move into their students’ world even if it’s foreign territory
- Dream big and ask “Why not?”
- Feel secure asking their colleagues for help
- See themselves as co-learners, not teachers
- Run towards their area of weakness, not away from it
- Allow their students to teach each other
- Model resiliency and perseverance
- Allow themselves to fail, often
- Are comfortable not knowing what is going to happen
- Step outside their comfort zone
- Question everything
- Don’t wait until they’re experts to introduce something
- Invite mistakes into their lives
- Embrace change
- Believe they can learn anything, given the right attitude and effort
The two important themes around each of these dispositions is learning and failing forward. In an article form the Mindset Work’s Blog called Mistakes Are Not All Created Equal, Eduardo Briceño details four types of mistakes using the below graphic.
- Stretch mistakes “happen when we’re working to expand our current abilities.”
- Aha-moment mistakes happen “when we achieve what we intend to do, but then realize that it was a mistake to do so because of some knowledge we lacked which is now becoming apparent.”
- Sloppy mistakes happen when we’re doing something we already know how to do, but we do it incorrectly because we lose concentration.
- High-stakes mistakes are ones we want to avoid as they can be “catastrophic”, “dangerous” or “important ramifications.”
How do we see failure as a positive where we engage our growth mindset, resilience and grit learning from stretch mistakes and aha-moment mistakes while avoiding sloppy mistakes and high-stakes mistakes is the most critical of dispositions for a modern teacher or modern learner or human being. In focusing on this theme of mistake-making/failing forward. Check out the two videos below.
In this 8-minute video, “U.S. Ambassador Suzi LeVine offers her insight on what makes American businesses succeed and how others can learn from the power of mistakes and failure.”
And how about I share again this popular 6-minute talk on GRIT from Duckworth…