Growth Mindset to Boost Grades and Confidence

College students, after doing poorly on a test, were given a chance to look at tests of other students. Those in the growth mindset looked at the test of people who had done far better than they had. As usual, they wanted to correct their deficiency. But students in the fixed mindset chose to look at the tests of people who had done really poorly. That was their way of feeling better about themselves.

Does this quote shock you?

It surprised me when I first read this quote on growth mindset vs fixed mindset from Carol Dweck’s book, ‘Mindset’.

It’s obvious that, as a parent or teacher, you want your child to consistently live in a growth mindset.

Kids with a growth mindset are far more willing to see and correct their mistakes than those with a fixed mindset.

A person with a growth mindset is eager to learn more, to invest time in building on their failures, rather than covering them up to make themselves feel better (fixed mindset).

The benefit of understanding how to live more frequently in the growth mindset than fixed mindset for kids is this:

  • Your child will be more successful in school, college, university and beyond.
  • Your child will have better relationships and feel better within his or herself knowing improvement and growth is possible, mistakes are not the end of the world and he or she is not defined by his/her failures or setbacks.
  • Your child will be more resilient, optimistic and determined.
  • Your child will be happier, healthier and better prepared to bounce back from the challenges life inevitably throws at us.

At Manchester Tutors, our tutors are keen to infuse the growth mindset into their classrooms and study rooms to build both subject competence and self-confidence within their students and tutees.

Mindset Alternative Phrases

Perhaps you can relate to the feeling or desire to cover over your mistakes. Or you can see this in your child. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that.

What this quote doesn’t tell us is what is discussed in the rest of this book – mindset is not fixed.

Thank goodness for that!

Carol Dweck is ultimately seeking to help us live in the growth mindset more often than we are in the fixed mindset.

Why we choose a Fixed Mindset

People with a fixed mindset are simply protecting themselves. The college students’ responses in the study to ‘look at the tests of people who had done really poorly’ may seem egotistical, but this response is a protective mechanism so they ‘feel better about themselves’.

We all want to win in life. The students in the fixed mindset chose winning over learning in this situation.

We can all fall into that trap at one time or another.

Three ways to choose a Growth Mindset

Acknowledge your mistakes

With a growth mindset, rather than sticking your head in the sand, you acknowledge that you don’t know it all.

The students with the growth mindset were keen to ‘correct their deficiency’.

As off-putting as the word ‘deficiency’ can be, sometimes it is important to be aware of the areas we are lacking in knowledge, influence and experience.

Additionally, we don’t know what we don’t know. This may mean that at times we need someone to highlight our faults to us. That’s fine too. Acknowledging your mistakes also means being open to correction and feedback.

And even if you’re not completely failing, what if you could change your experiences in work to a B+ rather than a C-grade average. Or how about boosting your relationships and interactions from a B to an A*?

Carol Dweck’s book and research demonstrates that there is always more to learn and there is always opportunity for improvement – well, at least if you have a growth mindset, anyway.

Learn from your mistakes

Rather than choosing to look at the right answers to correct their mistakes, students with the fixed mindset chose to placate themselves with the fact others had made similar or worse mistakes. They chose students with tests who had done ‘really poorly’! Their thought process – why bother upsetting themselves with discovering where they went wrong and how to make the necessary improvements?

At Manchester Tutors we want to challenge you to instead apply the response of the students in the growth mindset to education, work and life so that you can begin to consistently search for the better and best responses to every adverse situation, challenge or mistake you make.

You can do this through self-reflection and external support, such as with a coach, mentor or tutor.

Growth Mindset brains
Growth mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Find a process to make success more likely

If you stick with the fixed mindset and only focus on learning from those who achieve less than you, how will you ever improve?

You won’t.

The process to make success more likely includes reaching out to coaches, mentors and tutors who have achieved what you desire to achieve. (Our tutors are subject specialists, have been personally interviewed and reference-checked by our team of experts in education.) Hear from one of our tutors here. They’ve likely made many mistakes and can share their wisdom so that you can avoid those pitfalls. They can help you learn from mistakes you have made to choose a better path next time. And they can support you to discover the best way to achieve the success you desire.

But this process does not only apply to education.

Imagine if you applied a growth mindset in every area of your life.

How much better would your progress in life be?

Study Success

Everyone learns differently and with the exam season looming it is important to take advantage of successful techniques to improve your learning. Among the many study tips, we have gathered a few tried and tested methods to help you make the most of your revision time and help you achieve the results you deserve.

Set a time and place

This may seem obvious but, in our experience,, it is helpful to have a clear ‘study zone’, free of distractions to aid you in focusing your mind to the task. Many struggle to revise for long periods of time, so why not set an alarm to remind you to take a break every hour or half hour? This will help you remain motivated if you know you are scheduled a break.

Request help

Sometimes the assistance of another person can be vital in aiding you in cementing your knowledge. Perhaps you have a classmate revising the same material or a family member willing to test you. Our skilled tutors are also equipped with a range of study techniques, patience and understanding to help you achieve success this exam season.

Vary the topic

If you have many subjects to revise, try changing the topic frequently. This will keep your brain active and allow you to devote equal time to each subject. Information is easier to remember in smaller chunks and changing the topic will allow you to digest the information you have just read.

Give yourself enough time

As tempting as it may be to leave the revision to the night before a big test, this will increase your stress and anxiety, leave less time for you to absorb the information and is likely to result in poorer results. Start early, plan your revision time and avoid last-minute panic!

Top Ten Tips for Private Tutors

Becoming a private tutor is a rewarding, fun and challenging career choice that you can pursue on a part-time or full-time basis.

What do I love about being a tutor?

That I have the opportunity to be creative in the way I share knowledge and educate others.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein.

Tutoring requires that you break information down to its simplest form. That means that if you want to help your student understand a concept, you have to express it in a clear, concise and simple manner.

That’s hopefully how this blog will come across too – clear and simple (with concise points).

So here are a few keys to becoming a private tutor:

Identify your why

Firstly, ask yourself this question: ‘Why do I want to become a private tutor?’ What are your motivations?

Here’s one tutor’s motivation: To earn an income by helping young people realise their potential and to build within them the tools essential for living with self-confidence, self-belief and a full knowledge of the best exam skills and techniques.

Another tutor writes: To provide students with the additional support they need to both understand and even fall in love with the subject they’re learning.

What’s yours?

Personal Qualities

As a tutor, you have a unique and profound role in the lives of the students you are supporting. Building a positive relationship with your students is essential to helping them learn and grow in a healthy environment that draws the best out of the them.

Personal qualities unique to private tutors – whether those who tutor in small groups, 1-2-1 or both – are those such as patience, self-discipline and personal leadership.

You’ll also need to be able to plan and organise effectively – your time, schedule and lesson preparation. Often, new tutors have the problem of being unable to plan their time efficiently within lessons. This means the lesson either significantly overruns (I’ve spoken to tutors who used to spend an extra 30 minutes on top of a one-hour session when they first began tutoring! Talk about time and a half.) And, unless otherwise agreed upon, you cannot expect the client to pay for this extra time. Time is something that you can learn to manage more effectively with practice and careful planning.

All new tutors are provided with training in time-management, planning and organisation to ensure that our tutors provide the highest-quality tuition for all. Tutors are also taught best-practice for reporting and, finally, it is essential for tutors to have good computing skills for research, lesson planning and CPD in their chosen subject(s).

Do you fit the bill?

Zoom-in

As you progress in your career, you’ll discover what you enjoy the most – subject, age-group, teaching style, etc.

What brings you most joy will bring you most. Iris Van Ooyen

When you discover the subject(s) that you really love to tutor and you zoom-in on these, you become a better private tutor. Why? You’ll be able to deepen your focus and discovery in your chosen subject(s) at a specific level, learning more and therefore equipping yourself with more knowledge and tutoring techniques to apply to your lessons.

Ultimately, you’ll enjoy the experience more, as will your student!

Legal Requirements

Most private tutors are self-employed. Certainly, every private tutor working with Manchester Tutors is registered self-employed. It is therefore essential that you register for self-assessment. Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information. Please note: you can be both self-employed and a PAYE earner at the same time, so private tuition is often an additional source of income for the majority of tutors.

Receiving Cash Payments

I am a massive proponent of online payments via Direct Debit or BACS. But if you are unable to set this up for whatever reason, using a simple cash-tracking sheet will improve your accounting system’s efficiency and reduce your worry about errors and miscalculations so significantly that it’s difficult to truly express its impact. Before I switched to cashless transactions, it saved me countless hours and 100% guaranteed accurate accounting for me when completed at the end of each day (it takes 30 seconds). If you’d like your own cash-tracking sheet, email info@manchester-tutors.co.uk .

DBS Reference Check

Although a DBS Reference Check is not currently a legal requirement for private tutors, a DBS check offers security and assurance to the parent and student so it is always good practice to carry your DBS certificate with you to any home that you work at, particularly for the first lesson.

Insurance – Public Liability and Professional Indemnity

Whilst you undoubtedly take pride in your work as a private tutor and seek to provide the most excellent, high-quality service to your students, mistakes and accidents happen. In the event of a claim, it’s important that you’re protected. For more information on this topic and/or to get a quote, visit: https://www.markeluk.com/articles/what-insurance-do-teachers-private-tutors-need

References/Reviews

As with many things in life, it’s not solely about what you know; equally important is who you know, and in this case it’s all about who knows you…and what they say about you.

After working with any student for a period of time, encourage the parent(s)/guardian(s) and student(s) to write a short review about your service.

Quick tip: Make the review process quick and easy so that they’ll be more willing to provide you with the review you’re asking for. Here’s an example of a simple, but effective 2-step questionnaire:

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our tutoring lessons?
Please give a reason for your answer.
Let us know how this goes for you! Better yet, add your responses to your application!

Blogging

We encourage our tutors to blog or write about their subject or an area of learning or education that interests them or they think may be important for parents and students to read and learn about. These are then distributed in an online newsletter. If you are interested in writing, email info@manchester-tutors.co.uk with your submission.

Join an agency

If you’ve got this far, why not…Join us!? Applications are open and we have vacancies for private tutors in Manchester, Cheshire and Trafford.

We are always on the look-out for new tutors, especially in the following subjects:

Science (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) GCSE & A-Level
Maths GCSE & A-Level
English Language and English Literature GCSE & A-Level
11+ Entrance Examination Specialist Tutors – for Manchester & Trafford
Are you a tutor interested in working with more students across Manchester and the surrounding areas? Do you seek to provide excellent, high-quality service in everything you do? If so, you align with our values and we’d love to work with you! Download the application form (Manchester Tutors Application Form Updated Sept 2018) and join us today!

Training for New Tutors

We also offer free private tutor training courses to improve your tutoring skills. This training is run by Manchester Tutors and essential for all new tutors with no tutoring experience. Existing tutors are also welcome. Please get in touch to find out about the next course date.

Take the risk out of finding a private tutor

Does my child need a tutor? Should I get a tutor anyway? Where do I find a tutor? How do I know if they are any good or not? How would I know if the tuition is working or not?

These are just some of the questions you might ask yourself as a parent if you are thinking about getting a tutor for your child. This might especially be true if your child has just started one of the so called ‘important’ years at school this week, like the year they take the 11 plus exam which determines whether they secure a place at the school you want them to attend, or GCSEs and AS/A-Levels, which are the road path towards university and degree choices. It is no wonder that as places become more competitive at schools and universities, more and more parents are seeking extra help. Below we’ll answer some important questions about private tuition.

What is private tuition actually good for? The obvious answer is that the extra help and hours by a private tutor will give a child the extra practice they need to raise their grades. That doesn’t just mean for students who are struggling to pass. That also means students who are doing very well already. For example, last January, a mother called us seeking private tuition for her daughter for her A-Level English. She was already getting Bs, but they needed an A because of the university she wanted to attend (she got the A).

Importantly, private tuition isn’t just about the subject itself. Often, a child’s confidence in a specific subject has suffered at some stage during their education, and a lack of confidence leads to dislike, and dislike leads to a lack of effort and motivation, and well, it’s easy to see by that stage why they might struggle. That’s where perhaps private tuition is so valuable. It gives a child much needed one-on-one time with a tutor that can dedicate all their time and attention on them and their learning needs. Think about that in contrast to a classroom environment, where a child lacking confidence for a subject can easily fade away in the background and out of sight of the teacher who has 19 other children to focus on.

What makes a good tutor? That is a very important question that we at Manchester Tutors remain focused on when we interview every tutor before we decide to work with them or not. Too often, a private tutor is used a synonym for a subject expert in something. An aunt or family friend is often called in to tutor because they are good at Maths or English. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, being good at a subject yourself doesn’t mean you can effectively teach it to someone else, particularly if that person has important exams looming like their GCSEs or A-Levels.

In other words, you don’t really have the time to take any chances on what tutor you get. We believe an effective tutor is both a subject expert but also, and just as important, someone who can get the best out of a student by delivering their teaching in a way that will engage and encourage the student, which will in turn increase their confidence, which will hopefully translate to better results. In short, no two students learn exactly the same way, so by the same token, not every tutor will be right for a student. That is why we carefully interview and select tutors for children based on the information we receive from a parent about their child (i.e. we don’t just find you a History tutor if you need a History tutor – we find you the RIGHT History tutor).

It all starts with a free consultation with one of our tuition support consultants. Take the risk and stress out finding a private tutor, especially if your child faces a crucial year ahead.

The Manchester Tutors Tuition Support Team

Classroom sizes and peer pressure: Giving your child confidence

As a parent you might have already been in the situation where your child is struggling at school. Their teachers tell you that your son or daughter doesn’t speak up in class, doesn’t raise their hand even if the question is as simple as 2+2, and looks nervous when the teacher asks them a question in front of the class. But what looks on the surface like an ‘academic’ problem may actually be far more subtle: confidence.

What this means is that children may struggle at school not only because they are finding their subjects challenging, but that the nature of a big classroom environment with only one teacher, who can only focus a limited amount of attention on each student at a time, is not the type of learning environment your child thrives in. This can be because they are naturally shy, struggle to focus with so many people around, or their confidence may have suffered at some stage in the past and this was never addressed.

The knock on effect can be severe. The child could delve further into their shell and continue to struggle, and because it appears to be an academic problem, remedies like extra homework will do little to help because the subject itself is not the root of the problem.

That is where private tuition can help. It’s not just about getting a tutor to help your child with a particular subject. It’s about giving them back the confidence they need to participate in classroom questions and discussions. Where your child may not feel confident to speak in front of twenty classmates and the teacher, there is a strong chance they will feel comfortable speaking in front of their tutor in their own home, which will hopefully translate to comfort and confidence back in the classroom.

As a result, as a private tuition firm we handpick all of our tutors. We are not just interested in their qualifications and whether they can teach a subject or not. What makes us recruit a tutor is also their understanding of different learning needs and personalities of children and that they understand the principle that one glove does NOT fit all.

You can call us for a free consultation on 0161 509 2398, or send through an enquiry form and one of our trained tutor support consultants will get back to you within 24 hours.

Best wishes,

Manchester Tutors

School’s out, but get a head start on September 2015!

After another academic year comes to a close, it’s definitely the right time to take a break and make sure your children get some time away from academic study. But September has a funny way of appearing much faster than we expected, leaving parents with a mad rush to have everything organised for the new school year!

This can be even more stressful if you have more than one child. And what if one, if not all of your children, are entering a school year that is more important than others, like the year they take their 11+ exam to get into a select grammar school, or their GCSEs or A-Levels which determine what degrees and universities they can attend?

You might have already thought about getting a tutor for one of your children’s subjects. This will most likely be the subject or subjects they are struggling in and will often be the difference between a student achieving their overall goals or not. But don’t make the mistake of getting a tutor during the mad rush in September when every parent is thinking the same thing! What often happens is that if you wait until September, by the time a tutor is assigned for your child, your child will already be in the middle of a new school year and doing their best to keep on top of homework and coursework which they will want help from their tutor with.

While that is not a bad thing, the added value of a tutor is to get your child AHEAD of the class, not keeping up with it! That is why we at Manchester Tutors recommend getting your tutor in August, even for just one hour a week, to give both the tutor and your child a chance to settle into a tutor/tutee pattern without the stress and time demands of homework and coursework that will be inevitable in September. That way, by the time September comes around, you are not running around trying to find a tutor, leaving you ahead and satisfied that it has already been taken care of.

Getting your tutor in August will also allow the tutor a chance to find out the strengths and areas of improvement for your child without having to focus only on exams. For example, if your son or daughter needs help with the English section of their 11+ exam, before the tutor gives them exam papers to practice, the tutor can hone in and develop your child’s English before they give them exam papers, which is often not the case when we reach autumn and the exam is only around the corner.

If you wish you speak to one of our tutor support consultants for more information on this and to find a tutor, you can visit us at www.manchester-tutors.co.uk or call 0161 509 2398 and one of our tuition support consultants can take you through the process.

Best wishes,

Manchester Tutors