A Mindset NOT a Skillset

Every once in a while when you read or hear something… you can’t let it go. It might have not been a long article, blog post or speech… but rather a small quote that grips you and does not leave you… it resonates somewhere deep inside you…

It happened to me last week, when I followed Kim Cofino‘s tweet from her for an upcoming presentation “21Century Classroom“.

Slide 19 has not left me since then.


If a teacher’s mind is closed… they will have the excuse of “No Time”… “thanks for offering to help … but don’t have the time (to invest in learning something new) right now”. Is it time or priorities?

If a teacher’s mind is closed…they will blame it on their LACK of tech skills. It is too easy to say:

  • “I am just no good at it”
  • “I don’t know how”
  • “You can do it much faster”
  • “I am so far behind”.

If a teacher’s mind is closed…there is never the “right kind” of help available to them.

  • Give them group help…they want 1:1 help (but never come through the open door or make the time  to set a 1:1 session up).
  • Offer them someone to co-teach , supporting them in their effort to teach THEIR curriculum… It seems an inconvenience when having to invest the time for collaborative lesson planning.
  • They want no “extra” work (ground work done for them)… still want to retain ownership in lessons/projects..but don’t follow through or up.
  • Give them written step by step instructional How-to-Guides, but they forget where they placed the paper or how to retrieve another digital copy
  • A Merry -Go-Round scenario when teachers move on to the next kind of help they would need (and is offered, but too inconvenient to take advantage of)

If a teacher’s mind is closed…they will only hear what they want to hear. They will think that having their students use

  • a Word Processor to type in pre-written chunks of text
  • let them click around on websites to practice kill and drill math facts
  • Edit a pre-made PowerPoint template with text

is technology integration.

If a teacher’s mind is closed…they already know (without ever being interested in reading about educational trends, experimenting or researching a new approach) that it would just not be worth changing or tweaking their repeated time-tested lessons plan of 5 years.

If a teacher’s mind is closed…they will use an incredible amount of energy fighting to prevent technology to successfully trickle into their teaching. There would be too much change, that their mind is not willing to deal with and absorb.

If a teacher’s mind is closed… there will be no successful technology integration…too many excuses…

It does NOT seem to be about the skills (or does it?)… it is about the MINDSET. Until that changes…

Here is Kim’s entire presentation