The Panatalinga Partnership conference started off with Anthony Yates and Amber providing the Welcome to Country. Dan Haesler then spoke about Mindsets and how they have the potential to be powerful. He talked about Fixed Mindsets and Growth Mindsets.
He said that some people with Fixed Mindsets believe they are naturally smart and that things should come easy to them, they take the easy options to get a sense of accomplishment when they inevitably do well and they see struggling as proof that they can’t succeed. He said people with Fixed Mindsets see mistakes as bad and if they do make mistakes they automatically think they aren’t good enough and give up. ‘Fixed Mindset people’ avoid challenges. They don’t want to shatter the image of being good at something, they also ignore criticism and are threatened by the success of others, although people don’t have a completely Fixed Mindset all the time as it depends on the circumstances.
On the other hand, people with Growth Mindsets seek out challenges and revel in struggle. He said that ‘Growth Mindset people’ learn from criticism and feedback they receive and are inspired by the successes of others.
During the day, there were many workshop opportunities for learning and sharing ideas.
The last session of the day was a Student Panel with senior students from Wirreanda Secondary School, Reynella East College and some Year 7 students from two different primary schools. One of the questions asked was,
“What did you take from today’s conference?”
One student said that he believes lessons should be “more creative and interesting to make school more fun. Students do care about their education and want to learn. We appreciate what teachers do for us”. Another student said that teachers need to enjoy the lesson as well as the students: “When a teacher is bored the lesson becomes boring.” She stated, “If the teachers don’t care then why should you expect the students to?”
Amber, a Year 12 at Wirreanda Secondary School, said that she can see that teachers are actually trying, but they should also try seeing things from a students perspective. Not every student is the same. Not all students don’t put in the effort. Everyone is different.
Another student talked about Growth Mindset, knowing now that she doesn’t have to be a natural, that if she works hard she can still succeed.
The student panel also said that they want teachers to keep a fresh mind when preparing lessons. Saying that the more creative and different the lessons were, the more fun they had. Other responses from the student panel were equally articulate and enlightening. The panel was a great way for teachers to see things from a students perspective.
Overall, it was a really inspiring day. I hope the teachers learnt just as much as and, hopefully more than, I did.