My Growth Mindset

When I think of the message of “yet”, I believe it gives the students hope and encouragement.  By saying “I don’t understand this YET”, it implies that you will learn it eventually.  Individuals that say “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” already have the mindset that something is impossible or won’t happen.  How can anyone be successful believing that?  By taking the YET approach, an individual goes into something with a positive outlook and invites the challenge to doing or learning something new. By doing that an individual is able to transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

I think that adopting the growth mindset will significantly change the way I learn.  I feel with this mindset and not seeing failure as a consequence, that I will feel more comfortable to test the limits.  The growth mindset allows for more chances to be taken and in return a bigger possibility of success. If failure occurs, it’s more of a learn-able moment, in order to eventually be successful.  By changing to this mindset, an individual can truly see what they are capable of doing.

By taking the growth mindset approach, I feel that there would be a change from the norm in the classroom.  I think that we all as teachers are used to saying comments that would be considered fixed mindset comments.  I really liked that the growth mindset approach focused on complimenting the effort given by a student rather than complimenting on talent.  By complimenting on effort, it’s applicable to everyone, complimenting by talent would might leave some students out.  I work with special education students and students that don’t have IEPs.   I think that as a struggling learner, it would feel pretty defeating it the teacher only complimented talents while being in a class that is an area of weakness for them.  By adopting this mindset, every student would receive appropriate feedback that would be used to foster confidence to help them to be more successful.  I really like the reference in The Power of Belief Ted Talk, where Eduardo Briceno pointed out that if someone wins they are a “winner” that means that if someone loses they are a “loser”.  Working students with special needs, I can imagine this is how they may feel in classes they categorize as difficult.  How is anyone supposed to feel confident in that type of environment?

I think that by taking this approach, it would definitely change the students’ mindset on the emphasis on grades.  I think that so many people get attached to grades as a way of being successful, me being one of them.  After a lifetime of being conditioned that success equals good grades, it’s hard to see it differently.  I think that switching to this the growth mindset teaches us that there are difference ways to show success.  I deal with students ranging from 9th to 12th grade. Some students I’m able to stay with for their high school career, others move onto other caseloads.  When students come to me in 9thgrade, I feel that they have a fixed mindset.  After reading Dwecks’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, I really want to make it a point to shift their way of thinking from the fixed mindset to the growth mindset.

As I watched the Ted Talk I felt inspired and encouraged to try my best, with any task given. I would definitely opt to watch more videos about the topic. I would like to show my students this to start the year off with positive thoughts.  I also found a wide range of links with information on the growth mindset.  If I wanted to incorporate teaching my students about the growth mindset, I would definitely use Pinterest.  There are some many great ideas on how to present and keep information in the classroom.  There is an “Educational Pinterest” called Educlipper, but Pinterest had far more information.

While the fixed mindset and growth mindset both focus on success, it is interpreted differently by the mindsets.  Whereas the fixed mindset sees success as being talented and labeled as “smart”, the growth mindset sees is as putting forth effort and welcoming a challenge and the possibility of failure.  Having the growth mindset in the classroom, in my opinion, will make it a better learning environment.  Students will all feel a sense of accomplishment and will actually want to learn, without reservations.  I’m going to be more mindful of this, this coming school year.  I believe I will see a change in the dynamic of my classroom.

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