This post originally appeared on the blog Brain Leaders and Learners.
Will you see problems pushing against the door jams on your first day back to school? Or do you see possibilities written across backdrop screens of every learner’s mind?
You’d have to have the brain of a coconut husk to run from or deliberately block life-changing wonders in your day, in spite of challenges we all face. Yet how many of us make proactive choices as a way to look beyond nagging problems? Students thrive when we help them spot and unleash possibility lifesavers on a difficult day. How so?
I start by pulling personal possibilities from the awesome potential every learner brings to class daily. Teens and pre-teens leap to the question, HOW ARE YOU SMART? Notice I did not ask, How smart are you? They differ, in that my question unleashes amazing strengths all teens bring to learning. It lights a pathway beyond niggling problems such as poverty that can tank learning – to offer possibilities showcased below.
If you’ve wondered what possibility thinkers do differently, then you’ll identify with the following 10 prospects that change ordinary days into extraordinary opportunities. The kind that leapfrog teens over problems such as poverty to engage them in neural-related POSSIBILITIES. For instance, they awaken parts of their brain never before used in your class to accomplish possibilities never before accomplished!
Turns out our brains stockpile mega-pharmaceutical supports – that flood our day with serotonin to support possibilities or cortisol to fixate us on problems!
You guessed it – our daily choices fling open delightful or dangerous floodgates. Serotonin cascades into wonder – or cortisol imprisons us in its woeful traps! Consider the options below:
Each of these 10 mentoring steps depends on the awesome equipment kids’ brains possess to tackle problems with possibilities. In spite of challenges they face beyond your class or mine, awaken possibilities and brains reshape. Yes, literally! They begin to step into new trajectories forward!
Over forty years in a field that’s been more than good to me, I’ve discovered it takes brain based mentoring to cultivate possibility thinkers! That’s why I’m excited my mind-guiding approach to mentor is coming out internationally soon with Wiley Press! It works and teens love it! And let’s face it. Who doesn’t find new mental mojo in a room filled with possibility thinkers in mutual mentoring roles. Teachers and teens who pull together to solve stubborn problems with cool possibilities they both contribute! Have you seen it?
Ellen Weber spent the last 40 years supporting active brain-based teaching and assessing in upper levels across 20 countries. Her brain-based Mita model for renewal invited several PhD’s, published with Pearson Press, and has won awards for higher motivation and achievement in several secondary and higher education settings.
A golf course near her home finds Ellen happiest whenever she finds a spare minute – yet her other love is the look on teen or adult faces when an active participation finds every learner speaking up and feeling heard! She created and teaches a graduate higher education leadership course using her brain based text – at the graduate Dean’s request, titled, Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind.
When Ellen grows up, she hopes to be much like her two darling grandchildren – the light of her life! Find her blogging at Brain Leaders and Learners, or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or adding to her TpT Store, Ellen Weber – Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset.