Scott Shickler, co-founder of The 7 Mindsets, speaks to local educators during a professional development in-service for teachers at Sunflower Elementary in January.

PAOLA — Paola USD 368 educators are in their second year of utilizing The 7 Mindsets social-emotional learning curriculum, and they recently got the opportunity to learn more about the intricacies of the program from the co-founder himself.

Scott Shickler, co-founder and CEO of The 7 Mindsets and The Magic Wand Foundation, was the guest speaker during a special professional development in-service for teachers that was held at Sunflower Elementary in January.

Paola teachers were joined by educators from neighboring districts who each wanted to learn more about the program from the man who helped create it.

The 7 Mindsets are:

  • Everything is Possible
  • Passion First
  • We Are Connected
  • 100% Accountable
  • Attitude of Gratitude
  • Live to Give
  • The Time is Now

Shickler explained to the educators that a person’s mindset matters greatly both in and out of the classrooms. He used an example of one of his son’s Little League games. He thought his son would be upset after the game because he misplayed the ball multiple times, but he was surprised to discover his son was happy because he enjoyed playing the game and wasn’t even thinking about the mistakes.

“Your mindsets matter,” Shickler said. “Your mindsets determine the quality of your life.”

Shickler got the teachers out of their seats multiple times throughout the presentation to participate in the program. During one activity, he asked them to get in a bad mood and interact with a co-worker. He then had them act happy and interact with each other.

“It was the same meeting,” Shickler said. “The only thing that changed was your mindset.”He also talked about how the mind of a teenager can often include “counter mindsets.” He explained how certain thoughts or ideas that are ingrained in us as children can then affect our mindset.

He used common phrases such as “curiosity killed the cat” and “don’t make the same mistake twice” as examples of memes that may be sending the wrong message to America’s youth.

“Curiosity is important,” Shickler said. “And mistakes aren’t bad. Mistakes are an integral part of success.”

Shickler said it is possible to change a person’s mindset.

“You can change your mindset, but all change has to include some discomfort,” he said.

He also encouraged the educators to set lofty goals for themselves and their students. He asked all of the teachers to raise their arm up as high as they could, and then he asked them to raise it just a bit higher. Most teachers realized they could extend it a bit higher.

“Even you don’t fully understand your own potential,” he said. “Your students will rise or fall based on the level of expectation that you set for them. It’s the same for your colleagues. Whatever goals you have, stretch it another inch or two.”

Sunflower Elementary social worker Lisa Wilson and Cottonwood Elementary social worker Amber Seck have been busy the past two years implementing The 7 Mindsets program.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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