Transcript - AI Generated
[0:18] Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Effective Teaching Podcast.
Today, I'm interviewing Jason Marshall. Marshall he is the host of the inspiring teacher podcast and he's a coach of teachers who are looking to go into leadership and stuff like that so make sure you join us for this conversation make sure you follow up with him afterwards he is going to be chatting to us about mindset and so let's dive into this episode well hi Jason thank you so much for coming and joining me today on on the Effective Teaching Podcast.
I've loved being on your podcast not too long ago. And if anyone is here and hasn't listened to that, please go check out the Inspiring Teaching Podcast.
There's an interview with me and Jason there about effective teaching.
And today, Jason, I'm going to be chatting to you a bit about this whole mindset thing that you are going to help teachers, essentially, to be able to set themselves up with a great mindset to be really effective, I guess, in their classrooms with what they do with themselves as well.
And we'll talk a little bit about how it might apply to kids to how we might teach it to them so.
[1:23] Jason can you just start by giving us a bit of a brief overview of you know what do you mean when you're talking about mindsets and what we're talking about throughout this podcast today yeah amazing well thank first of all thanks for having me Dan I'm super excited to be here I suppose my mission as a as a coach and as a mentor is to make sure that the mindset of of teachers out there is in the correct format, essentially.
Because if we're always focusing and we're in that fixed mindset that I'm sure that your listeners already know about, we're stuck.
We're not progressing in our lives. We're not progressing in our careers.
And essentially, that's only going to be harmful to our students' education, right? Yeah.
So the way and my philosophy of coaching and mentoring is if we work on your mindset and your mindset around particularly being a better educator or being the best educator you possibly can be to reach out your full potential, then that will inspire not only yourself, your colleagues around you, but then your students as well.
So for me, the mindset is that core essence of where you need to start in teaching, essentially.
[2:26] Yeah you know in a recent episode i heard about growth mindset and it's meant like you've mentioned fixed mindset there which is the opposite of a growth mindset really and i think it's very important for our teachers to not be stuck in that kind of a fixed mindset and really as teachers you know growth mindset's now been around for a long time and we should all know that we can improve that we should be improving uh so as teachers look to have you know correct that mindset what kind of things should they be doing to make sure that their mindset is actually in the right direction you know yeah and i suppose you know like you just said it growth and fixed mindset has been around for so long but it wasn't till this year where it actually landed for me so i was in in an actual mindset seminar earlier this year and the speaker there talked about something called your reticular activating system so your razz and we've all got one and i didn't actually realize what it was i heard about it but didn't quite know what what it was and how it worked in our brain.
The role of the reticular activating system in mindset shift
[3:23] So essentially, our brain takes in 2 million bits of information every one second.
And of course, our brain can't process that many things.
So because you just imagine, you know, 2 million, another 2 million, another 2 million.
And if you're just say sitting in your office, right now, you're only taking in 132 bits of information.
[3:43] And it's up to us as educators and as human beings to discover, okay, well, what are we actually going to focus on?
What are those 132 bits that we're going to focus on?
And if we bring that back to fixed mindset, are we going to focus on all the things that are fixed and all the things that are wrong or challenging?
Or are we going to focus on the 132 things that are going to help us grow, help us inspire and looking at that growth mindset?
So for me, that reticular activating system.
[4:11] Really defines who we are as people. So if you can think about the five senses, that's where we get all of our information in from.
And if we're, again, focusing on those fixed mindsets through touch, then that's what we're going to, that's what our brains are going to really focus on or what we hear.
So it's really important when we're driving to school, for example, what are you actually listening to?
Are you listening to the news and all the things, the negative things happening in the world?
Or are you listening to an inspiring podcast like like this one, or something else, you know, that inspires you, good feeling music, or is it sad music that you're listening to?
Straight away, that can be one thing that you can do to really shift where you're looking at, particularly with your reticular activating system.
[4:56] And one thing I used to love doing when I was in the classroom, I now realize was changing my reticular activating system, was to change the direction how I would get to school.
So instead of turning left at the the end of the end of the street i would turn right and go the scenic way because then that for me i was calm i was ready to go to step into the classroom before i even got to school so you know if we're looking at hearing what are we listening to in the car what are we seeing when we're driving if you're going the same direction each and every time to work then your reticular activating system will start to blur those things out and be like yep i know what's coming i know what's coming but if you change it it sort of shocks your reticular activating system a little little bit but oh i didn't notice that beautiful water there on the left hand side before i'm going to go this way a little bit more often or you might see you know someone walking their dog.
[5:45] Something if you never went that way you may not have seen that so just little things like that has really helped me change my perception and my reticular activating system to make sure i'm in that calm state and that calm mindset and that growth mindset ready to step into the classroom for the day yeah i think the reticular activating system is really interesting i remember speaking to Judy Willis in a previous episode about neuroscience stuff and she really highlights it a lot because its job is to filter out all that you know information that you can't already have stuff that's familiar that's repetitive and when you talked about you know that drive to school that it reminds me of those times when you drive to school and you forget how you even got there like you don't even remember that you drove you're just like oh that's right here I am at school I I don't remember.
And then you sit there and go, how did I not crash?
Like I wasn't really paying attention. Yeah. Did I go through that red light before?
That's right. You just got pointed out. And I think it's important for us to know that when you think about.
[6:44] Being able to shift your mindset there, and you talked about music and stuff.
I love using music to shift mindset, whether that be in my house.
If I wake up early and so I work a whole bunch, but when I come out of my office and my kids are awake and my wife's awake, if I can already hear the fights happening maybe between my kids, I might come out and purposely put some music on that's more upbeat and happy and it's setting a mood that's going to cheer them up a bit.
And I'm going to come out happy as well because the music's on and it stimulates because it's slightly different to the normal kind of morning and then we might dance or whatever and dancing to you, that movement as well, you start to focus on things differently because of the movement because that's unique and different and really the particular activating system, it likes things that are new.
[7:28] That's why when you see someone for the first time in a while and they've changed something, it could be a haircut or whatever, you pick up that there's been a change.
It might take you a little while to go, oh, it's your hair, you've cut your hair uh but your reticular activation is like something's different here and that's a survival thing originally but now we're going to talk about you know manipulating that and using it not manipulating let's go leveraging it's a better word uh leveraging to the reticular activating system to help us to be in a good positive mindset as we come into our classrooms or even to our kids mindsets as they come into the classroom so keep talking a bit bit more about how we might purposely be shifting our mindsets for this growth because you talk a bit a lot about leadership and you're a leadership coach yeah i'm a teacher i'm looking to you know.
Using the Reticular Activating System to Enhance Teaching Skills
[8:14] The reticular activating system and mindset stuff to then help me to become a better teacher or to be looking at you know the promotion and that kind of stuff at school and the stepping to leadership roles but how might i do that with the reticular activating system yeah so in the from teacher to leader program that's my signature program that i teach within the inspiring teacher i do a whole module on what's called changing your state so i actually think that's the title of the module but essentially i teach in that how to change your state within seconds and there's three components to that which i'm quite happy to share with you now and your listeners now which is super exciting the first one is is your body so how are you holding your body are you holding your body um you know are you slouched in your chair if you think of someone who's bored if you think of someone who is you know i'm just over this i'm over this staff meeting i just want to go home how might they sit are they slouched in their chair are they leaning have they got their hands hands on their desk, those sorts of things.
[9:11] If you know that that's someone who's bored, unmotivated, change that.
Sit up nice and straight. Have your hands in your lap.
Have an open body language. Just by changing that will make sure that your RAS is, okay, I'm aware, I'm awake, and I'm interested.
Even if it is super, super boring, just be present with it.
And your RAS will start to think and find all of those things that, ah, this is why I'm interested.
This is why I'm excited. This is why I'm here inside this room.
So the first one is, yeah, looking at your body, your body language, how you're holding your body.
The next one is your language. So what are you saying externally?
And what are you saying inside your head? Are you sitting in that staff meeting or in, in that workshop, whatever it is.
And are you thinking and saying to yourself, wow, this is so boring.
I've got so many things, other things I could be doing now. I've got little Johnny who I know is going to be upset if I don't get there on time this morning.
[10:03] All those sorts of things? Or are you thinking about, wow, this person is really engaging that I'm listening to.
Wow, I can learn so much from this person. And even if it is something that you already know, I can guarantee there'll be one or two things in that speaker that you'll be like, okay, I'm going to go and utilize that inside my classroom or utilize that with inside my life.
And try and pick those sorts of things up when you're, you know, when you feel yourself yourself in that bored state or in that unmotivated state, whatever it might be, even in the stressed state, if you're really thinking, okay, this is what I can do, this is what I'm going to say to myself, this is what I'm going to say externally to my colleagues.
So instead of blaming, complaining, and justifying with your colleagues at your table, start to find the positive things.
Why are you there? What's the collective common goal that you have as your teachers around that table?
So the first one was how you're holding your body, And the second one is your language and what you're saying to yourself. The last one is, again, what are you focusing on?
[11:05] So really thinking, okay, am I focusing on little Johnny right now, who I know is going to be upset?
If I am, that's not helping me right now. I will deal with little Johnny when I go back to the classroom.
But right now, I'm focusing on this presentation. Right now, I'm focused on this staff meeting.
So trying to keep your focus where you are in that present moment. moment.
And you actually talked about on my podcast a couple of weeks ago, how important it is just to stay focused on the present moment.
And that's something that I took away from our discussion as well.
And I wanted to highlight it here again, was just stay focused.
Stay focused on the present moment because the future is the future and the past is the past. Past is gone. That's done. We can only focus now.
Yes, we can support ourselves for the future, but, That will come. Right now, let's focus on right now and what our goal is right now.
So the three things to help your RAS to change your state, whether it's from that bored state and you're trying to get into a motivated state or even a stressed state into a calm state.
So if you think of someone, and we'll talk about it through a stress state as well, if you're thinking of someone who is stressed, how might they hold their body?
They might hold their body again, slouched. They They might be sort of rubbing their hands together.
They might feel butterflies in their stomach, all those sorts of things.
They might even start sweating if they're that stressed.
[12:28] How could you hold your body if you wanted to go to a calm state?
Okay, well, you might do a couple of deep breaths. You might just plant your feet on the floor, plant your hands on the floor to keep them still.
If you're looking at your language, what are you saying to yourself?
Are you saying to yourself, I'm so stressed?
Or are you saying to yourself, okay, I've got things to do, but right now i'm the best i can possibly be i'm showing up for my students i'm showing up for my colleagues i'm showing up for my family the best i can be and the last one the focus what are you focusing on again are you focusing on all the things that you need to get done or are you focusing on the things that you have already got done so again shifting that focus and i was just saying to dan earlier imagine if i could teach this to my students to my year six students and And how that could possibly have changed those students' lives within that early time period.
Teaching Students to Leverage their Reticular Activating System
[13:22] So you could easily take this framework, and Dan, I'm quite happy to send it to you as well, and give it to your students and teach it to your students.
So when you see that they're in a stress state, you can remind them, hey, what are you focusing on?
How are you holding your body? And what are you saying to yourself right now?
I think that to me was probably the most powerful tool that I've learned this year that I am now implementing into not only my life, but now teaching all of the teachers who I am teaching essentially.
Yeah, I think it's important for us, even with our students, to help them to focus on what's present in front of them.
[13:56] There's often things happening in life that stress people out and that can distract from what currently is.
And I think for us as teachers, it happens a lot.
We often will reflect on what's been happening or we'll be stressed out about things in our future, our workload, all that kind of stuff.
But by focusing on what's currently in front of you this this particularly happens a lot if you've got family and that kind of stuff like when you're interacting with your kids and you're worried about work then you'll find that your time with your kids is really hard right they're gonna because they can tell that you're absent even though you're present they can tell you're not there and then they work harder to get in there and that's gonna happen in your classrooms that happen in your staff meetings gonna happen everywhere as soon as people know that you're actually half distracted they're going to work harder to get your attention and stuff and so we can train our students as well in that sense of you know focusing in the classroom, and you know acknowledging the fact that there's all these other stresses but say hey for now let's just put that aside we can think about that at another time and let's get into it so you were talking about how we can teach this to our students how can we help our students in our classroom to learn about you know leveraging their reticular activating system to improve improve their learning in our classrooms.
And again, I think you touched on it before. If you just bring them back to the present moment, I know one of my current mentors, whenever he asks me a question, and quite frankly, it can be a challenging question.
It can bring up a lot of emotion for me.
[15:22] When he ever asks me a question that he knows is going to, in inverted commas, trigger me, he will ask a simple question, can you feel your feet?
Okay. I can feel my feet on the floor. Okay. Can you feel your hips?
Yep. I can feel my hips in my chair.
And now I know that I'm in the present moment. I'm in my present body.
So now I can answer it from a place that's not emotion.
[15:42] It's from me. So I think even teaching your students that, you know, before you answer this question or before you react in a certain way, just stop, pause and ask yourself, can you feel your feet?
Bringing Awareness to the Present Moment
[15:55] What does it feel like? What does does the floor feel like can you feel your socks can you feel your tight shoes okay once you've got that move to your hips can you feel your hips can you feel the the seat that you're sitting on or have you got any tightness in your glutes or in your hips can you feel it into your back possibly and just bringing awareness back to the body that will bring them back to the present moment and we'll be able to either deal with this current situation or answer a question so much more clear clearer rather than from that heightened emotion state whether that is a stress state a sad state whatever it could be an angry state even imagine if you know to diffuse uh an argument between two students you say hey both of you stop can you feel your feet can you feel your hips focus on your breath big deep breath in and then out what's happening straight away you've changed their state to then be, we're here in the present, let's now work this out.
So I think just by doing that simple technique that I only learned a couple of weeks ago, that would be amazing.
For me in my life, that has changed so much in the past couple of weeks.
It's just when I've got to make a really big decision, whether it's in my business, whether it's in my coaching space, whether it's just in life in general, it's okay.
Before I make my decision right now, I'm going to get up, I'm going to go for a quick walk outside, I've got my fresh air, I'm going to sit back down at my computer and I'm going to check in with myself.
Can I feel my feet? Can I feel my hips? I'll take a deep, big, deep breath in.
[17:24] Okay, let's go. Let's make this decision right now.
[17:28] Yeah i used to definitely use stuff like that too when i was in classrooms i was dealing with like classroom behavior stuff i would often sit there and go i'm going to get myself in a good, state before i can actually engage with these two students or one student or whatever that's that's you know driving me nuts in my class or driving other kids nuts in my class uh or stuff that's dangerous so i had to make sure that i was in a good position and so i would often just do like breathing i used to do a lot of kind of deep breathing to calm myself down or whatever and And so I would find myself doing that.
[17:59] But even the fact that throughout the breathing process, they teach you to focus on, you know, feel the breath in and then feel it coming out.
And that you're feeling, you know, where you're at and what's happening and using some kind of strategy to help you to remain calm in whatever situation you find yourself in.
And, you know, we can't all go for a walk. If you're in the midst of something, you're like, I can't just head outside and do that walk.
But there are definitely things we can do. We can feel our feet. we can we can sit there and go this is where i am you know and look at the kids in your class like they're they're all good this is what i need to focus on uh and that can be just on learning stuff but it could also be behavior management but i think it's important for us to see that our state really is going to impact what's happening in front of us yeah so let's go back to us as teachers and we're shifting our mindsets around so that we're focused on the present and we're using this kind of three it was three steps right three step process of if where we're feeling and what we're focusing on and um holding your body how you're holding your body right so how do we then shift that like if i'm looking for growth and promotion and that kind of stuff so there's you talked about being focused in a staff meeting now firstly i don't see myself being focused in staff and he's going to get me my promotion it might it might make me still look good to the people above me um.
[19:22] In terms of going for that promotion, for me, that kind of growth mindset and, you know, the professional development and being really active around that, how does what you're talking about impact, you know, my improvement as a teacher?
Boosting Confidence and Improving as a Teacher
[19:33] Yeah. So, talking to some of my mentees, in particular, one of the biggest issues, if that's the words, or struggles that they are currently having is a lack of confidence.
Lack of confidence not only in their classroom with a particular subject, possibly.
Possibly i'm definitely talking primary school here um whereas high school you're more a specialized subject um or it could be a confidence of actually i'm going to put my hand up and have a go at you know stepping in and filling in for this person or having the confidence when it comes to an interview process so again i use that same that same technique that same raz technique to focus on okay let's think about what a confident person right here would look like how would they they stand?
How would they hold themselves?
How would they sit? Those sorts of things. What are they saying to themselves?
And again, what are they focusing on? Are they focusing on the fear that they may look silly?
Are they focusing on the fear that they may stumble over their words?
Are they focusing on the good things? Are they focusing on the outcome, the positive outcome that could happen if you go for that interview?
If you do, put your hand up and say, yes, I'm going to have a go at that.
[20:38] Are you focusing on the good things that, hey, I'm just going to turn up, give it my best shot today. And I know that my students will be able to take one thing from that.
I'm not at a hundred percent today, but even if I'm at 50% and give my 50% today, that's a hundred percent for that day, right?
So those sorts of things, definitely when it comes to confidence and when it comes to confidence as well, something that I loved doing when I was a teacher, when I was feeling either a, a little bit down on myself, B, that lack of confidence.
And it could be because because I had fears of, you know, I may have had an interview coming up, may have just been a parent-teacher interview.
I'm, you know, I realise there's a difficult conversation coming up and I'm feeling a little bit anxious about it. What I used to like doing is just stand at the front of the classroom.
[21:20] Whilst the kids are busy doing something, whilst the students are doing their work or possibly just having a bit of free time, free play, whatever they might be doing.
I'll just stand there, my feet shoulder width apart.
I put my hands on my hips. I would slightly raise my chin and I now call that the Superman pose or the superhero pose.
And I'll stand there and I'll just do some deep breathing and I'll really focus on, okay, what am I focused on right now? I'm focused on the anxious side.
Let's flip that. What's the opposite to anxious? Okay. Calm, I'm confident.
[21:51] Let's do that. Okay. What might they say to myself? And sometimes I would say it out loud, you know, quite enough.
So the students didn't hear, or sometimes I just say it internally.
And what I soon realized, I actually started using it as a behavior management tool as well, because I did it the first time.
And then I heard one little boy said, Oh, Mr.
Marshall's standing there. He must be waiting for us. And it was at that moment, I went, ah, I can use this as a behavior management tool.
And then it was maybe a couple of months later, the kid We were really chatty, full moon, windy. I don't know, something happened.
And I just went, right, I'm going to try it. Today's the day I'm going to try it. So I just stood there in my superhero pose. I was feeling confident myself.
I was ready to rock this lesson.
And sure enough, the students quietened down so quickly. It was so much better than, you know, the old clapping, the repeating of a phrase, putting your hand up, you know, eyes to me, those sorts of things.
Just by being calm, by being confident, not only was it boosting myself, my ego, if that's what you want to call it, or like your emotions, it was also calming the students down. So it happened both ways.
So to answer your question in a very long winded way, it's just to be confident, you know, use those three pillars.
And how does a confident person act, particularly when they're around their current leaders, if they're thinking, okay, I want to step up to leadership.
The importance of managing anxiety in leadership roles
[23:07] I know a leader is going to look up, okay, at the moment, you're in a very anxious state.
You can't be leading this department, you can't be leading this year level, if you're always going to be in that that anxious state.
Yes, there are going to be times in our lives where we're going to be anxious.
That's just life. But how quickly can you change that state?
So that's probably my biggest advice for your listeners. If they're looking to step into leadership, how confident are they?
And there's loads of other strategies as well that I could spend, you know, four hours talking about how to shift your confidence.
But for me, that's probably the quickest and easiest way to do it right now.
Yeah, I love what you just said there, because I actually quite often will teach new new teachers to when they want their class to be quiet you don't yell you don't make lots of noise you actually stand at the front of the room silently yeah standing there silently all the kids go oh like he's waiting for us he's waiting for us and they just get drilled into it so that then when you stand there quietly at the front they all just suddenly stop and look at you to the point where actually becomes you know you'll do it just by accident you'll just be standing at the front for some reason the kids all suddenly get quite like oh no no no guys keep keep doing what you're doing yet i'm just i'll move over here for now you know i'm just thinking about what we're doing next yeah.
Power Poses and Boosting Confidence
[24:20] And the other thing I noticed too, as you were talking about that pose, there's a fantastic TED talk.
I can't remember what the name of the lady is who does the TED talk, but she talks about how your body language is your superpower, and she talks about Superman poses and all that kind of stuff as a way to boost your confidence.
And she'll encourage people, if you're about to go into an interview or anything like that, to go into a bathroom, do your Superman pose, do your power pose.
[24:44] And just by doing the pose, it gives you that confidence and so when you're heading into that interview or into the classroom or wherever you're going you're actually going to perform better because your brain suddenly it has that switch that goes in it when you get that confidence suddenly you're actually going to uh make the decision that you need to make and not hesitate on those things and it becomes really powerful for you as a teacher going forward uh with what you're doing in your classroom for leadership all kinds of stuff it's really really valuable thing to do and yeah if you want to find that ted talk just search for body language and superpower or something it'll it'll come up for sure it was one of the top 10 i think 10 talks around you've probably seen it yeah yeah scientists have actually done the study of it and i didn't actually say it because i know i was going to butcher the statistics around it but it actually reduces your cortisol level which is your stress hormone and then increases.
The Science Behind Power Poses
[25:33] Your testosterone level as well so particularly in men if you uh you know you've got that reduced reduction of cortisol levels increase of testosterone that will increase your confidence and again in women women also need testosterone too i know a lot of my female mentees come to me like well i don't want to increase my testosterone well fortunately you still need that in your life as well so yeah just by doing it's like reducing it by 30 or something your cortisol levels and increasing your testosterone by i'm not gonna say because i'll completely butcher it and make it up um but yeah i'm sure to be in that ted talk as well yeah but jason's been fantastic to have you on here and to chat to you can you tell the listeners where can they find you where's the easiest place to come and find out more about you and what you're doing well you can find me on instagram that's probably where i'm most active it's just jason marshall underscore or you can also come and join the inspiring teacher facebook group just search the inspiring teacher on facebook i've also got the podcast the inspiring teacher which is on all major platform streaming services probably where you're listening to this one right now.
[26:31] And i know right now going into 2024 starting a brand new year things can get a little bit hectic.
And you might find yourself in that burnout phase quite quickly, particularly for new students as well.
So what I want to give all of your listeners right now as well is a free checklist, a free checklist to make sure that they are in that calm state, in their, you know, their prime optimal position ready to go into teaching.
And essentially, if you are doing this daily check-in every day, you will avoid that burnout as best you can.
So I'll send you the LinkedIn, and then you can pop it in the show notes or all those sorts of things.
Yeah, I'll pop it in the show notes and in the email as well.
Yeah, awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. It's been a delight to chat to you so much.
Yeah, thank you so much. Yeah, it's been great.
Learning about the activating system and improving as teachers.
[27:27] Well how good was that to chat to jason and to listen to him and to learn all about the particular activating system and his three-step process about how we can you know help ourselves be centred and focused and to improve ourselves as teachers overall as well as in the classroom i hope that you enjoyed i hope you got locked out of it make sure you hit the subscribe button come and join us again next week and if you haven't already come to teacherspd.net and in In the top right-hand corner, you can subscribe and get email updates and all that kind of stuff as well from me as new things come out, whether it be podcast episodes, videos, blogs, or new courses to help teachers to become more effective.