Cultivating Growth Mindset: Positive Learning for a Wonderful School Year 

This past season I needed to step away from the computer screen for a number of reasons. I am a shy, but social creature and too much time not interacting with people face to face has impacted my joy.

A dear and trusted friend asked me to consider driving a school bus with her as a part-time opportunity, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but it has been a blessing in so many ways. I have been a coach and a trainer for more years than I can remember, and coaching adults has always been something I was comfortable doing. Working with the kiddos on the other hand, while driving a 16 ton chunk of metal down the street, remembering all of their names, and where they lived!? Well, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I had limiting beliefs.

I am a Mother too

Working as much as I did, back when my own children were in school, I probably wasn’t as involved as their work from home father was. But interacting with the children I now have the pleasure to drive to and from school, and having a handful of friends who either teach from home or at school, I am confident to share with you some recommendations to empower you and your students to make this year an enjoyable and productive one.

A corporate trainer and essential oils educator

For over 30 years I have been an adult educator and trainer. With each consecutive year of coaching and training, I have learned the importance of setting the stage for success. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned – creating healthy habits, the power of communication, and creating an environment for learning.

Positive Learning

Remember the Staples back to school commercial with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing, the dad is dancing through the store loading a shopping cart with school supplies. When he took the pencils and dropped them in the cart like a chef adding spices to a dish… I laughed so hard the first time I saw that commercial!

This week we’re diving into the growth mindset. What it is and how we can help our kids of all ages (I’ll call them students here), develop that growth and can-do mentality, for a Positive Learning experience.


Not to be confused with a fixed mindset…this is as good as I’ll ever be…growth mindset was first coined by Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She describes someone with a growth mindset as an “individual who believes their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and help from others”.


As parents, grandparents, and influencing guides, we play a major role in nurturing our student’s mindset. We’re laying the groundwork for academic and personal growth. We want to enforce the belief that intelligence and abilities can blossom through effort, learning, and resilience. So, what does building a growth mindset look like for students? 

  1. First, consider the student’s original mindset. Does the student have any limiting beliefs? How often do you hear comments like: “I wasn’t born with the talent/ability to do xyz,” or  “I’m not good at math”, or as adults you may hear “I’m just not organized”. I’ve heard my fair share over the years. I’ve even said plenty of limiting comments to myself, “I’m too shy”, or “too old”, or as I mentioned before, “I don’t know if I have the patience for all of those children”… you get the point. Being aware of how we speak to and about ourselves is always the first step to improving our mindset. 
  2. Next, help the student to rephrase the thought, to see it from a positive perspective. “Boy, I couldn’t have done that a year ago. Look how far I’ve come,” or “Wow, by doing that extra studying, I aced the test”, or “I thought I would be frightened and mess up my speech, but once I got started it came natural”. Eventually this will start to become a natural habit. 
  3. Another way to help enforce the growth mindset is to have the student think about things they’ve already accomplished…learning how to ride a bike, writing cursive, memorizing the multiplication tables, playing an instrument, or mastering another skill. Remind them of things they have accomplished.
  4. Rather than focusing solely on outcomes, we should celebrate efforts and strategies. If done with kind intention, feedback is a great tool. Providing positive reinforcement for achievements, big or small, reinforces the idea that hard work and dedication lead to progress.
  5. The power of YET. I wish I had learned this a long time ago. Teach them to embrace the power of “yet.” There is still plenty of opportunity to grow in whatever area they are struggling with. At the beginning of each school year, there are plenty of concepts and skills a student hasn’t learned…yet. Help them to realize, with practice and perseverance, this skill will grow. Growth mindset is realizing you’re not done growing…yet. 
  1. For older students, look for people that are already where they want to be. Read books on those who inspire them. Look at how they approached the challenges in their life and how they overcame them. What can be learned from their struggles to help apply to your student child’s goals and dreams? 
  2. Mistakes should be viewed as valuable learning experiences, not as failures. As guides, we need to encourage them to think critically and come up with solutions on their own. We empower them to develop problem-solving skills and self-confidence. Mistakes are NOT failures, they are lessons. We only FAIL when we make the MISTAKE to not try again. 
  3. Break bigger goals into smaller attainable ones. I have heard and say this often, “How do you eat an elephant? …One bite at a time.” Breaking down a bigger goal into smaller bite size goals helps create the positive mindset that our students CAN accomplish something huge. 


Setting the stage, or providing an environment for progress is helpful too. We do it throughout our house. Bedroom walls are dark, and there are limited and no electronic screens to distract from a good nights sleep. And my office is set up with inspirational, and motivational quotes to help my mindset and keep me focused on my task. Aromatics are also a key part of our household to help with mindset.

Diffusing is a great way to create an environment that nurtures a growth mindset. If I am down in my sewing room, that happens to be near the cat boxes, I can not get much accomplished if the odor from the cats is distracting me.

When one of my students is struggling to remember that they’re not there YET, I have them grab one of these oils to diffuse and help refocus:

  1. Rosemary: Boosts focus and memory! Rosemary essential oil can enhance cognitive function, helping you stay sharp and attentive during study sessions or while working on goals.
  2. Lemon: Stay motivated and uplifted! Lemon essential oil is known for its mood-boosting properties, promoting a positive and optimistic outlook on life, even when faced with challenges.
  3. YlangYlang: Embrace self-love and confidence! Ylang-ylang essential oil can help develop a strong sense of self-worth and emotional empowerment to believe in those natural abilities.
  4. Wild Orange: Foster creativity and inspiration! Sweet orange essential oil can spark imagination and encourage innovative thinking, helping find unique solutions to challenges.
  5. Frankincense: Cultivate mindfulness and reflection! Frankincense essential oil promotes a sense of inner peace, making it a perfect companion for self-reflection and personal growth.
  6. Lavender: Manage stress and promote resilience! Lavender essential oil is a soothing companion during tough times, encouraging a calm and collected response to setbacks.
  7. Peppermint: Enhance mental clarity and alertness! Peppermint essential oil can clear the mind, making it easier to absorb new knowledge and approach tasks with a fresh perspective.

So to recap this week about Mindset

Remember, developing a growth mindset is all about believing in the potential to learn and grow. A Positive Learning experience is aided with the support of essential oils. Students will be better equipped to face challenges, embrace setbacks as learning opportunities, and achieve dreams, with the aromatic support the essential oils offer. 

Now, back to that commercial with the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” It truly can be a magical time of the year for our children. It’s the start of something fresh and new. A new opportunity to create and learn and grow. We want our kids to be excited and feel empowered as they embark on this new year.

This whole month is dedicated to helping parents help students start the new school year off on the right track. 

Jennie Knourek

Herbalist, Phyto/Aromatherapist & Wellness Advocate. Trained Massage Therapist


Owner/Admin of and Crunchy Biker Clubhouse and Healthy Happy Strong Tribe on Facebook

Join my FREE Online Class to Learn More about Essential Oils

Wholesale Club Pricing

If you are not yet a wholesale member yet, (in my opinion this is better value than Costco or Sams Club), then I would personally like to invite you can join our team to take advantage of these great savings promotions, and additional benefits available to doTERRA members.  JOIN & SAVE

Wholesale Customers who are not Wellness Advocates would need to contact their doTERRA sponsor to enroll someone or simply ask how you can host a class or upgrade your account to enroll someone their self !!

As a Wellness Advocate, you can enroll members, friends, a family from your back office or from your personal doTERRA website (which all Wellness Advocate members have).  It offers a great way to offer insight and information to people regarding the membership and the products and has some great recipes and project ideas too.  CHECK OUT OUR SITE HERE