What are our mantras?
Thursday 17 May 2018
What mantras do we tell our students (and ourselves)?
Have you ever asked students what they think the school really believes about them? What are the key messages they keep hearing from us?
The power of mantras
Mantras have been around for thousands of years. They are those simple words and phrases that have the power to shape the culture of a place, They can affect what people believe about themselves and others. Today we find them in pop songs, tape them to our fridges and pin them to our Pinterest boards or InstaQuote them on Instagram. When we take them on board and repeat them to ourselves they have the power of changing our brain's chemistry. I guess it is common sense - we start believing those things we keep telling ourselves.
Here is an example. The International School in Dusseldorf (ISD) celebrates its 50th birthday in the same year as the IB celebrates their 50th birthday, 2018. They created the following mantras to celebrate.
"Be Yourself Always. No one can be a better version of you than you can."
"For the lionhearted ...To every day, to every person,to every challenge, we give 100%."
"No fitting in required. Over more than 50 years there have been thousands of different ways to be an ISD student. Can you find another?"
And here is a personal mantra of one of their senior teachers: "Your success is important to me."
Key to student self-motivation is what each student believes they are capable of doing. Carol Dweck has coined the terms 'growth mindset' and 'fixed mind set' to describe two opposing sets of belief that students can have of themselves. One is self-enhancing the other self-limiting.