Adults’ beliefs about students—whether they are conscious or unconscious, implicitly or explicitly communicated—greatly impact students: including their motivation and their relationship with school. In this session, participants will read a true story by a high school student whose teachers have various beliefs about her as a person and student, which impacted her attitude about school, attendance, effort, and motivation. After reading and discussing the story, participants will examine the different teacher mindsets, beliefs, and biases that impact their students. We will review the difference between fixed and growth mindsets, and what impact different feedback techniques have on developing students’ own growth mindsets. We will also discuss implicit biases (around race, gender, class, and other important factors) and their impact on students, reflecting on our own biases and brainstorming how to counteract them.

This workshop is free for principals and school leaders. It is one of three workshops offered in Youth Communication’s “Sunny-Side Up: Strengths-Based Teen Stories to Support School Climate” series.