We educators have been telling our students historic stories about those who embraced the ideals of a growth mindset before it had a name. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Mohammad Ali, and Michael Jordan are quoted famously about the power of making and learning from mistakes. Let’s put our kids in the driver’s seat of their potential and give them the gift of teaching them the language of growth.

Here are five tips for nurturing a growth mindset:

1. Change your student’s mindset by controlling their language. Start by outlawing the phrase “I can’t” in your classroom. Model positive behavior for your students; your example will set the tone.

2. Use every experience as an opportunity to teach your students how they have the power to affect change in their lives. Even a negative experience is an opportunity to take control. Help students to see what they did that contributed to the situation: Did you give your best effort?

3. Capitalize on the moment to change attitudes and behaviors. When frustration sets in, intervene. Help your student to switch gears: teach them to do something proactive to change their attitude. That might be reaching out to others for help, or simply taking a short break to lower the stress level.

4. Praise the courage it takes your student to work hard and try new things when something isn’t working to produce a successful result.

5. Most importantly, show your students that they never have to accept the way things are. There is always something they can do to try to improve a situation. Teach your students that they have the tools to improve their lives.

About the Author:

Dr. Pamela Roggeman is a proven academic leader familiar with and passionate about technology in progressive education and currently serves as the dean of the College of Education at University of Phoenix. She worked for more than 17 years as a secondary education teacher and was named an Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year Ambassador of Excellence.