I was once in a class teaching about the 2% mindset. It was the time of year when we were thinking about exams and revision and the point I was trying to get across was that if you put in the effort then you get rewarded.
It always seems such an obvious point but even I only realized this when I got into teaching. In school I was not confident and would rather not try and know I would fail rather than try and still risk failure.
Fighting to get to
a 2% mindset has allowed me to change my view on life and achieve things that I never thought possible.
It’s an amazing thing to get pupils to understand.
…but this post is not about that.
It’s linked to what a pupil said to me as I was teaching them this, they cut me down with a simple…
Yeah but Miss, you’re not the top 2%
Whoah….children can be blunt. The comment, I don’t think, was aimed at being an insult and the moment it was said many other pupils in the class started a discussion about the importance of my role.
The point he was trying to make was that a teacher was not what he thought of when he though of the top 2% of people, or professions.
So the question remains…where does this mindset come from? Also what, if anything, do we need to do to combat it?
Does this tell us something about the society we are living in? Do some children just not see the bigger picture? Do they not see that the 2% mindset can apply for any profession, any person, any goal? If this is the case maybe we need to aim to change that perception.
It might be now that society is beyond our reach, as teacher, on this. Many people in society still feel that only certain jobs and roles show success but it is our job to teach the need for all professions. But we can start to teach the next generation of the importance of all roles in society and that having a 2% mindset can mean success comes in many different forms.
- We need to show all students that if they try really hard then they can do great things. To counter that we also might have to let them fail if they don’t try, it’s an important part of the learning process. This must be in a safe place but should have the consequences. If we hide them from these they might not ever learn that.
- We need to show them the value of all sections of society. PSHE lessons should include reference to all available path ways for all levels. Just because someone is very academic doesn’t mean they have to follow one path. Look for their passions, that’s 50% of the battle to a 2% mindset.
- Value ourselves. I think if we value ourselves and model how we value each other that makes a big difference. Talk about how important a teachers role is and big up our colleges. Talk about the amazing things other staff do with pupils and parents. Talk about the hard work that is going on with them too. Show them all that the school cares and is often going above and beyond. It can be easy to take for granted if we don’t signpost it.
- Live the 2% yourself. Be confident in what you do well and share it. Be excited when you can. Explore new things before you shut them down and dare to dream. It may not come naturally but give it a go. Just like me, it may surprise you the difference it can make.