The introduction of The Growth Mindset Coach is an excellent preview of what is to come throughout the course of this book. Each month’s mantra serves as a wonderful starting off point and a gentle reminder as we focus on each topic. The one comment that stuck out the most for me in the introduction was: “We all have a fixed mindset and a growth mindset; it’s just a matter of deciding which one to use in any given situation.”~Carol Dweck I truly hope that everyone is able to get something out of each one of these chapters to improve your teaching and/or personal lives.
As this is the third book I have read on Growth Mindset, the first chapter was, for me, a good review. Annie Brock and Heather Hundley reviewed the terms fixed and growth mindset, as described by Carol Dweck:
Fixed Mindset– Assumes that intelligence and other qualities, abilities, and talents are fixed traits that cannot be significantly developed
Growth Mindset– Assumes that intelligence and other qualities, abilities and talents can be developed with effort, learning, and dedication.
As stated above, we all have both mindsets in us and it is just about listening to one over the other, however this is not always an easy task. It is something I have been working on, especially with my children, but I am not always successful, yet. There are many different people that are quite successful with this, as shown by the authors in Chapter 1. Do you have any personal examples of people that exhibit the growth mindset in different situations? What are their stories? Do you exhibit the growth mindset in certain situations? What is your story?
As some of you already know, I exhibited a growth mindset in karate in that I really wanted my brown belt and had to pass my physical test before I could even test for the belt. This required 60 sit-up in 65 seconds or less and 70 push-ups. I knew I could do the sit-ups, but the push-ups were more of a challenge. With lots of practice and effort, I was able to pass my physical test (with a bit of leniency from my sensei!). Another example for me was again with a physical activity. I am afraid of small boats, like kayaks and canoes- especially on open water, but even on lakes and rivers. We have a 19ft boat, which I feel comfortable on in the lake and the ocean, but i am always afraid of falling out of a kayak or canoe. This summer, I tried my friend’s kayak. I was totally out of my comfort zone. I did love the peaceful quiet and the time spent with my husband, but I was not comfortable in the tippy kayak (which actually was very stable!). On that day however, I decided that I would buy my husband a kayak for his birthday, so he and my oldest son could go paddling together. When we went to the store to purchase one for him, he decided that he would not get one if we did not also get one for me. I was not overly excited about this, but agreed. Once we went out camping and got to use them, I found that I actually enjoyed kayaking and although I am still gaining my kayaking legs, especially when it comes to getting in and out of the kayak onto a dock (I just about fell into the lake fully clothed-my husband thought it was hilarious but did come to my rescue) but I know that over time I will become more and more comfortable and might even venture out into the ocean at some point.
~Is there someone you know (either personally or otherwise) who exhibits a growth mindset? What is their story?
The second section of the chapter talks about your own experiences with teachers. You will have had memorable teachers in both positive and negative ways. I do remember some of my teachers, but had a hard time thinking of 3 ways in which they were positive memories from one teacher and 3 negatives from one teacher. I decided to combine a couple of teachers for both of these. My most memorable teachers included an elementary school band teacher who not only encouraged me to try out many different instruments, but also encouraged me to join an after-school band, another elementary school teacher who taught me and many other students French during a special lunch time French club. A couple of my negative experiences were an elementary school teacher who set up a spelling game that ended up making me feel shameful and even led me to cheating on my homework as I was struggling and not able to move ahead in the game, to a high school history teacher who could never remember to which class he taught different information, leading to neither class having learned everything we were supposed to have learned.
~Can you remember some of your teachers? What were your positive and negative experiences? How can these experiences help you in your own teaching?
Another huge part of this chapter is making a growth mindset goal. I found this to be very difficult as I know I need to grow in my growth mindset, but I was struggling with narrowing down a goal that was manageable. I believe that I have come up with a plan after doing some research on possible growth mindset goals. My goal is to change my wording from saying “I can’t” to “I will give this a try and try my best!” I know that this is manageable. I will ask my husband to support me in this and hang up some gentle reminders throughout the house to help me remember. This will be an ongoing goal, but I will review my progress at the beginning of each month. If you, like me are having some difficulties, I have added a link below that may give you some ideas for goals:
What is your goal for your own growth mindset journey?
I am hopeful that we can all be a support for each other with our growth mindset goals! Every little bit can help!
I will post about Chapter 2 on September 1st. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer before we are back to the grind once again!