One of the key realizations I have had in my career in education is that a learner can turn their experiences around by tweaking their mindset. A failure is not a dead-end if you learn from it. 

In this blog, we will explore the concept of learning ‘glows’ and ‘grows’ and tactful ways to adapt it in our experiences.

Think of learning ‘glows’ as the fruits and flowers of a plant and learning ‘grows’ as the soil and roots that it needs. Learning ‘grows’ are positive outcomes such as acquiring knowledge and practicing the skills. 

On the flip side, learning grows are the failures, disappointments, and dips in your learning experiences. We will build on the plant analogy and understand how to nurture our learning mindset, to celebrate the ‘glows’ and nourish the ‘grows’. 

I heard about this concept from Teach from India, a fellowship program that places fellows in public schools across India. In a session led by a fellow, they used ‘glows’ and ‘glows’ as a tool to share feedback.

The tool looked like this: 

  • Glows: What went well?
  • Grows: What can be better next time? 

This concept resonated with me. When you begin the conversations focused on the ‘glows’, it sets the right tone. Then you follow up with opportunities to grow. There is no place for criticality in this concept. 

How can we adapt the concept of ‘glows’ and ‘grows’ in our experiences? Let’s look at three ways to apply this starting tomorrow:

  1. Begin a journaling ritual: As we keep track of our learning goals, we can build a journaling habit to track our glows and grows. Use the same plant image and for every win, add a leaf. For every dip, add a root.

 This helps you understand the progress made and foundations developed. 

  1. Build a learning journey chart: A learning journey chart should expand over a year or more. Think of it like a Google map for learning. At every quarter, take stock of your ‘glows’ and ‘grows’. 

Turn your glows into celebrations and grows into reflections.

  1. Create shared learning spaces: Every quarter, take the learning chart and discuss it with your peer. 

Some discussion topics:

  1. How do I turn my Grows into Glows?
  2. What are some patterns arising when we look at growth and how can I break these patterns? 

Discussions with peers will help open avenues for growth and feedback.

Unlearning Thought

A tree is as strong as its roots and as majestic as its branches that bear fruits and flowers. This balance applies to each of us.