On my campus the fear comes from rampant rumors and retaliation as if the adults are still in high school and have to protect their nonprofessional reputations. I truly believe that all parts of the COVA model are beneficial but my biggest challenge to overcome will be my choice and ownership. I have seen growth mindset and choice really help the students (and myself) reignite engagement however, progress is stiffed at times in very high stakes situation when politics, friendships, relationships (inappropriate ones) and cliques amongst the staff are creating a place for the children that is really not a school at all. My choice to do what is in the best interest of the students could come with a hefty slap on the hand or being thrown under the bus when a scapegoat is needed. I struggle with feeling safe or being able to be authentically vulnerable daily.
I am working on the courage to create a blog as a part of my voice for my ePortfolio but in the mean time I will post (and have shared) Eduardo Briceno’s Ted talk, a website with 25 ways that teachers can connect better with their colleagues, several of my ideas and products of the growth mindset work that I have been trying in my classroom. Even though I get mostly positive feedback it tends to be dead end to the conversation so it is not spreading anywhere near as rampant as the latest gossip. The COVA model is essential and I am attempting to tackle the rejection in the traditional learning model by engaging in it with more than my assigned students. I have been able to employ the COVA model within an after school tutorial/enrichment program where the director allows me jump off the page more and more as she sees how the students respond to the methods that I use. Most of my methods come from what have learned here in the master’s program since I have actively working on learning and teaching the growth mindset and modeling the COVA model.
I hope to use this new found courage to bring positive change to my organization and the overall focus back on the students. Passion, purpose and positivity is possible as a teacher so that we can all ignite sparks within learners.