User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Professional Development Workshop

with 21 comments

I had the great privilege of facilitating a staff workshop on growth mindsets for the teachers and staff at Carlos Rosario International School and more recently at ISTE 2015.

Participants were given access to the slide deck in order interact with the slides and resources during the workshop.

What follows are the activities along with some of the resources used during the workshop.

It began with the viewing of a few “inspirational” videos.

Exploring the Characteristics of Growth v Fixed Mindsets

Online resources were provided and small groups (prearranged prior to the workshop based on teaching disciplines) were asked to explore and list the characteristics of both growth and fixed mindsets.

They provided with a link to this The Educator and the Growth Mindset Thinglink (which contains lots of linked resources). Note – I created the graphic first using Piktochart.

The Educator with a Growth Mindset-1

They were also given:

The participants were asked to bring their own devices.  This provided them the opportunity to explore the resources within their small groups:

2014-08-27_1047Each group created its own list of characteristics of growth v fixed mindsets:

DSC01392Then came an experiential activity called, Flip the Tarp.  On one side of the tarp, using masking tape and markers, they listed characteristics of fixed mindset.

DSC01383On the other side, they listed characteristics of a growth mindset:


They were then asked to flip their tarps.  They were instructed to have all their team members stand on the tarp with the fixed mindset characteristics facing up.  Their task was to flip the tarp, with no one stepping off of the tarp while doing so, so that the side with the growth mindset characteristics were facing up.


After the activity, each group was asked to report to the larger group what they learned. Some of the responses included:

  • When we were given this task, we first said that there was no way to do it – a fixed mindset.  Then someone offered a suggestion, we built off of that and ended up with a growth mindset and finishing the task.
  • Each one of us had our own perspective about how to do this.  When ideas were thrown out, we developed other perspectives – thinking outside of our own boxes.
  • Sometimes we don’t realize our progress, that we are blind to it, but we have to trust that process.

To reinforce and personalize concepts related to the growth mindset, the teams were asked to choose from photos taken of them during the Flip the Tarp activity (uploaded into Google+ immediately after the activity), add a caption about growth mindsets, and add a few slides to a collaborative Google Presentation that was being shared and developed by the workshop participants:

The Educator with a Growth Mindset

The next activity was an educator self-assessment of growth mindset behaviors.  These can be found in the slide deck.  After reviewing these, Socrative was used to do an anonymous polling of these self-assessed items.

2014-08-27_0941They were then asked to identify one or two of these growth mindset behaviors that they would like to work on and improve during the next semester.  These were shared with their small groups:


Strategies for Facilitating Learner Growth Mindset

The final component of the workshop was having the teams examine and develop strategies for increasing the growth mindsets of their students.

The resources they explored included:





Then the groups developed strategies for working with their learners:


 DSC01429The teaching staff was left with this parting shot:


Some Post-Workshop Teacher Feedback

  • I agree that it’s important to think about how we offer praise in our classroom and how that links to learning. I especially liked when Jackie said students should leave thinking their good learners, not that we’re good teachers. I liked her message and I agree that teaching our students about mindset can help improve their achievement
  • I agree with the idea of positive thinking. Presentation went quickly. Enjoyed the different activities.
  • it was great!  but it went a little fast. She kept moving when i would have liked her to explain some things a little more.
  • I like her message and she gave very good examples.
  • I thought what she shared were some good reminders and I look forward to being more purposeful about using her overall thoughts and more specific ideas as well.
  • I found the discussion portion useful.

 Six Month Follow-Up

We have kept the momentum going since your visit!  Our teachers have incorporated growth mindset concepts into their classrooms and lessons.  Posters praising effort and persistence can be seen in classrooms, teachers deliver growth mindset specific lessons, and teachers are more thoughtful and intentional about praising students who worked hard and made gains, however small they may be.  We have started attendance celebrations for students.  Attendance is something we struggle with as adult ed is non-compulsory.  Students are entered into a raffle for highest attendance and also most improved, again reinforcing effort.  Teachers are more intentional about sharing student data and progress with individual students.  In many of our classrooms now we have students tracking their own test scores and reflecting on progress in special sections of their notebooks.  I also think our school leadership has become more intentional about celebrating our teachers successes from big to small.

Becky Shiring, Professional Development Specialist at Carlos Rosario

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

August 29, 2014 at 2:17 am

21 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on limfablog.


    August 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

  2. Just learning about this, and love it.


    January 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm

  3. […] The Educator with a Growth Mindset by Jackie Gerstein— Jackie did a workshop this past summer. She has provided all workshop materials including videos and slidedeck. Excellent information to start conversations and think about your own mindset. […]

  4. I am working with a team of teachers to incorporate growth mindset research into our classrooms. I would like permission to use your image, The Educator and the Growth Mindset, on a poster used to explain our group’s purpose. Please let me know if this is ok. Thank you for sharing your expeiences!

    Mary K

    May 9, 2015 at 10:21 am

    • All my work is creative commons meaning you can use it as long as you give me attribution. Hope they enjoy it.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      May 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

  5. I would love to have students participate in many of these same learning experiences at the start of school and allow students to reflect on the dispositions “they” recognized throughout the year. In doing so you are showing without saying that you truly care, not only about what they will achieve or “the artifacts of learning” but more importantly about your students as learners…learning to learn, solve problems and make a difference no matter the task. How could that not be empowering!


    September 5, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    • So are you going to do this? 🙂

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      September 5, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      • I’m afraid that I don’t have my own class to make it happen 😦 Oh Dr. Gerstein, you have the keen ability to get me thinking!!!


        September 6, 2015 at 2:06 am

      • Thanks, Deb.

        Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

        September 6, 2015 at 3:35 pm

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I am at the beginning of planning a workshop on this for my fellow teachers, and you just made it super easy! I am so excited. Thank you! (Obviously, I will give you due credit!) Awesome materials.

    Sharon Green

    July 25, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    • I was thinking of doing the same, did you try to implement it? How did it go?

      Monica Ruzicka

      January 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

  7. Hi Jackie, thank you for sharing all of these wonderful resources! I am working on our year long plan with the book Mathematical Mindsets and was seeking some additional growth mindset resources to kickstart this plan. Love the use of your piktochart as a Thinglink!

    Sara Hunter

    August 23, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      August 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm

  8. This is a wonderful resource. Thank you so much. I was thinking of doing a workshop, or series of mini workshops, for our teachers on mindset, and your work has given me the inspiration to proceed with the idea.


    March 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

  9. This is a very good presentation, and i plan to utilize some of your ideas when I present to the RA’s at my university. Thanks for sharing


    July 20, 2017 at 1:16 pm

  10. Thank you for this presentation, I plan on using several ideas at the EBS conferences in June 2018 in SC.

    Zoraida Harley

    December 10, 2017 at 11:43 pm

  11. This is wonderful! How much time did you have for this workshop? I have given a growth mindset workshop within an MA class I give and was wondering how other educators were doing this. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Martha Ramirez

    September 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    • about 3 hours

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      September 11, 2018 at 11:52 pm

  12. This is a great workshop idea. How can the effectiveness be measured? Thanks for sharing!

    Tracie Blakely

    April 25, 2019 at 10:24 pm

  13. Thank you so much for sharing. I was looking for a way to present this at my school! I recently quoted you in one of my papers. I am so excited

    Monica Harvey-Jones

    March 1, 2020 at 11:55 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: