- The Friday Mindset
- Friday Mindset #101
Friday Mindset #101
Helping students get better at studenting
It’s been a long and punishing week. We’re just about still standing. Oh, and we’re taking a break after this issue and will be back on Friday 3rd November. A week off?! we hear you cry, disgusted at our sloppy standards and low expectations of ourselves.
There’s actually a good reason - when you lot are on holiday you’re quite rightly on holiday. Hardly any of you will open your newsletter next Friday.
Which gets us feeling demoralised, and we don’t want that, do we?
OK, onward! We’ve got some great stuff for you this week. Let’s dive in.
Something to try...
A week or so ago, we were chatting with a colleague about optimism - just one of those conversations you end up having after a lesson with a class full of super-gloomy students - and they recommended a book about attention and attitude.
It’s Winifred Gallagher’s Rapt, a book about what she calls ‘top-down attention.’ Top-down attention is the controllable attention-capital that we ‘spend’ on engaging with the world around us; the billboards we see, the adverts on the street, the social-media posts, the events reported in the news… and the world we essentially construct for ourselves as a result. “Much of the quality of your life,” it says on Gallagher’s book-summary, “depends not of fame or fortune, beauty or brains, fate or coincidence, but on what you choose to focus on.”
It reminded us of Richard Wiseman’s work on luck, and inspired to explore the subject further, we put together a powerpoint. We’re sharing it here - it finishes with what could be a really fun challenge to start next week actively looking for positive things in the world around us.
It should make a decent tutorial or assembly. Give it a go!
Something we're reading...
We’d just finished a training session last week when the organiser came over to say thanks. As usual, we were seeking feedback - how was the session? Do you think they got something out of it? The answer was, thankfully, a strong yes. “Just the idea you might engage in so much dialogue about the learning process with students will be a great starting point”, they said. And they had a point. For ten years, we’ve made ‘talking to students about the study challenges they face’ pretty much our M.O.
It’s good to see other examples of this discussion and reflection happening. We were impressed with the framework and examples shared in the article below. It’s about encouraging students to be better writers, but if your focus is elsewhere don’t worry - there’s some good ideas here for ensuring reflection drives improvement.
This time of year is notoriously busy, as we scamper around trying to tie up all the loose ends before half term arrives, and yet your to do list seems to be just getting longer and longer!!
This skill of focusing on the most important things and prioritising tasks becomes more and more important, and Winifred Gallagher’s message, that your quality of life derives from what we choose to focus on, becomes increasingly relevant.
With this in mind I would like to share another of our updated slide decks called the “Energy Line”. The activity originates from Scott Belsky(2014), in his book called “Making ideas happen”. This is a great one for students and staff alike at this time of year, once again all feedback is greatfully received.
Please note, this slide deck will self destruct on 24th November!
Finally I wanted to thank Elizabeth College and Ladies College in Guernsey for hosting me this week. They invited me over to give a presentation to their wonderful students in Year 12, and to go through the Platform with them.
Johannes Depnering and Julie Dittmar at Elizabeth College, and Emma Clements at Ladies College, are doing great work embedding VESPA Concepts across their respective 6th forms, and were fantastic hosts.
If you would like to learn more about our student sessions, delivered as a webinar or face to face, please contact us at [email protected]. Or book in a short meeting to discuss your ideas using my booking link below.
Have a great Half Term!
Our latest offer...
A reminder that just for October, our wonderful publishers are helping us celebrate 100 issues of the Friday Mindset by offering a discount on our new book. If you simply follow the link to their website below…
…you can add the discount code VESPA when pre-ordering, you get 30% off - basically you can bag four years’ work for a mere £13.99.
That’s 40 brand new activities to begin or develop your VESPA project for the cost of a first class stamp!
Well, not quite. But it sometimes feels like stamps have gone up that much.
Remember, we’re not back until November 2nd, by which time the offer’s over, so this is our last chance to remind you. Buy the book! Now. Do it now, go on. We’ll wait. Go.
Done? Great. You’re going to like it. Have a fantastic half term break, whether yours arrives next Friday or the one after. And all the best to you and yours,
Martin, Steve and Tony