Monday, January 11, 2016

Growth Mindset and Facilitating Board TL Networks

On Thursday, January 7, 2016, I attended a meeting for teacher-librarians who volunteered to be regional facilitators. It's always a wonderful experience to meet with fellow teacher-librarians from across the school board, because it doesn't happen as often as we might like. The goal of the meeting was 1) to collaboratively establish an understanding of facilitation and 2) to develop a plan of facilitation for your teacher-librarian network. One of the tools that was used to help develop some of the foundations for this facilitator role was a TED talk about growth mindset. You can see the video here: 

I really liked how questions were used to extend our thinking. After watching this video, we had to reflect on "How does growth mindset relate to our goals?" and this is what the group said.

  • make it safe for people to take risks
  • insist that people bring a problem AND a solution to the table (just complaining about the problem leads to more of a fixed mindset)
  • pay attention to the tone of your meetings 
  • be tolerant of people (new TLs and even administrators) who aren't where you are - YET
  • reject a deficit model of thinking
  • establish group norms that incorporate a growth mindset
  • keep conversation positive - make it about what was learned instead of challenges
  • celebrate responses that suggest "I don't know" - YET
  • ask "what's the worst that can happen?" to trying strategies and make it a safe environment
  • be purposeful with your intentions and how to invite discussion
  • praise the process, not the intelligence
I am also really excited about the three key areas of focus for the Library and Learning Resources Department and our Regional Network Meetings:
  1. Inquiry Based Learning
  2. The Library Learning Commons Approach and Mentoring
  3. Digital Learning
Last year, I took a Mentorship AQ course (which I wrote about here) and I really enjoyed it. Mentoring and teacher-librarianship fit perfectly together. In fact, I even wrote a paper about it for Treasure Mountain Canada 4 (a school library symposium that will take place this year in Toronto on Saturday, January 30, 2016). I am beyond delighted that mentoring was specifically mentioned as an area of focus for TDSB TL facilitators. There are over 60 new teacher-librarians in just the east end of TDSB alone. By assisting the Instructional Leaders just a little bit by reaching out to these teachers new to the role, we can help grow the profession. This chart closely resembles the "consult / collaborate / coach" stances from the pivotal book Mentoring Matters: A Practical Guide to Learning-Focused Relationships by Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman (thank you Andrea Payne for bringing this version to last year's TDSB TL Facilitator Team, and to Fran Potvin-Schaefer and Cindy vanWonderen for bringing it to the forefront for this year's team.) I am optimistic (dare I say, I'm using a growth mindset when considering the future) for this year's Regional Teacher-Librarian Network meetings. 


  1. Looking forward to reading your paper at TMC4

  2. Looking forward to working together to build capacity and to foster growth mindset thinking and practice in our school communities.

  3. Oh you dare, Mz Molly! You certainly did bring your growth mindset to the day! Fun stuff.

  4. Oh you dare, Mz Molly! You certainly did bring your growth mindset to the day! Fun stuff.