May 27, 2021

How to support students with a growth mindset

The collective exhale reverberates on campuses, in classrooms, at homes, and on Zoom. 

As schools close out the 2020-21 academic year, we can’t help but reflect back on a 15-month pandemic-induced whirlwind that tested school communities and strained social-emotional health. A year defined by uncertainty and inconsistency caused burnout rates to shoot up and to the right not only for students, but parents and educators as well.

A growth mindset can help school communities not only make it to the finish line, but learn from an unprecedented journey to create a better plan for tomorrow. Cultivating a growth mindset propels schools forward and empowers all school community members to work towards a shared objective.

The Social Institute’s Founder and CEO Laura Tierney and Senior Partner Success Manager Josh Lutkus recently hosted a 30-minute SEL webinar focused on applying a growth mindset in school communities. Attendees learned:

  • Evidence-based research on COVID’s impact on school communities
  • How a growth mindset supports students, faculty, and parents
  • Key differences between a growth vs. fixed mindset
  • Actionable insights and suggested strategies for Fall 2021


Evidence-backed challenges facing schools

After taking a deep breath and much-deserved break, we encourage students, parents, and teachers to recalibrate ahead of Fall 2021. Leveraging a growth mindset requires understanding the challenges we face on the heels of COVID-19. They are far from exhaustive, but these four data points illuminate some challenges that won’t disappear overnight:

The lingering threat of faculty fatigue and burnout impacts students and school communities should be cognizant of the direct link between increased teacher burnout and decreased student motivation. Some of the most common reasons for burnout for teachers include adjusting to virtual instruction and disrupted routines, managing health concerns for themselves and their students, and communicating more with parents on matters that go beyond typical parent-teacher communication.

Four strategies to promote a healthy growth mindset

It is okay for students, teachers, and parents to admit that this year was challenging! Adapting a growth mindset means not only acknowledging obstacles but applauding effort and affording grace. While it might be easy to fall into the trap of a negative mindset against the backdrop of looming challenges, it’s imperative that schools reframe challenges as opportunities.

Four ways to promote a healthy growth-mindset:

  • Do not listen to talk; Listen to understand 
  • Find the good in the small things 
  • Validate feelings
  • Conduct student check-ins

We cannot be what we cannot see. School educators and parents are crucial at reframing students’ mindsets and helping set the tone for the upcoming school year. 


For a complete breakdown along with specific steps schools can take to enhance and support a growth mindset moving forward, WATCH the entire webinar on-demand. Follow us on social media @thesocialinst or contact us over email.

You can also check out our other past recorded webinars for  regularly updated webinar schedule for upcoming timely webinars featuring guest thought leaders and updated research and insights.

About The Social Institute

The Social Institute partners with schools nationwide to empower students, parents, and educators to navigate social-emotional health, social media, and technology positively through comprehensive, gamified lessons that meet students on their level as well. We have partnered with forward-thinking institutions across the nation, including Ravenscroft School, Gaston Day School, Bryn Mawr, Gilman School, Woodward Academy, U.S. Olympic athletes, Duke Men’s Basketball, ESPN, and others. For more information, contact us.