August 15

Introduction and Chapter 1

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:

growth goals examples-2bzkpxj


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!


Posted August 15, 2017 by tiebcmembers in category Growth Mindset Coach

7 thoughts on “Introduction and Chapter 1

  1. Jacqui Ferguson

    Good afternoon all,

    Due to the evacuation of the Cariboo Chilcotin I have just received my book so I am a bit behind. I will catch up as of this weekend by beginning the task of reading. I am going to enjoy this and can’t wait to get started.

    1. tiebcmembers (Post author)

      I am so thankful that you are back home again! Please do take your time to get your bearings straight! There is no rush!

  2. Julie-Catherine Bussieres

    Hello everyone!

    (Don’t know if I am posting on the right section… as there is only one other post ?!)

    I can really relate to the «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», as I know I have a tendency to have a fixed mindset when it comes to trying new things. Two years ago, I started rock climbing and oh boy do I had in mind «I will never be as good as this person…» Well, I finally managed to switch my mindset to growth… This summer I manager to climb a 275m wall! Something I could have never imagined. Thank to my partner (and coach) who pushed me and helped me set goal at my level.

    This brings me to say, that it is possible to change our mindset as long as we have good example and that we set the right goals, keeping in mind that we everyone has potential for success. I feel that as teachers, we need to first work on changing our mindset and our self talk in order to be better models for our students. It is little things that we say, like «Miss Bussières isn’t really good at drawing» that can affect our students mindset…

    Of course we can’t change our personality, but I think it is good to keep in mind that we are the first model of a growth mindset in our classroom… 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your thoughts on that!

    1. tiebcmembers (Post author)

      Julie- you are absolutely posting in the right section! I am sure that summer is fully upon people and they are not willing to let go of their holidays quite yet!

      Congratulations on your climb! I fully understand your fixed mindset in trying new things! As I said in my post, I just recently started kayaking, and although I feel as though I do not have my kayak legs in full yet, I did try going out on the ocean for the first time this weekend! I didn’t think I was ready for that and wouldn’t be ready until maybe next year, but I went for it and it was GREAT! Baby steps of course, as it was a breeze-free, wave-free day where the water was like glass, but now I know that I can do it and will continue to grow, as I am sure you will too with your climbing!

      I fully agree about how we talk to you students (and our children). The little things make all the difference!

  3. Nicky

    Introduction and Chapter 1
    I find growth mindset research/information very fascinating. I think it is particularly interesting when I look at my own children- it seems like my son has more of a fixed mindset and my daughter a growth mindset. I have really tried this summer to focus on what kind of praise I give my son so, that hopefully I can help him to develop more of a growth mindset. However, I have to say this has not been easy! For myself personally, I find that I can have both a growth and a fixed mindset this seems to depend on the situations.
    In response to my favourite teacher- I have one in particular. She had the ability to form connections with kids and that is something that I really think is important and try to bring into my practice as well. She also had high expectations for every student in her class and pushed us to do our best.

    1. tiebcmembers (Post author)

      Thank you for your post Nicky!

      I have been watching myself with my oldest son and am finding it very difficult to change my mindset with him. He has a very fixed mindset as well, and I can tell you that I am certainly not helping him to change it! Another one of my goals is to change how I approach him. At the moment I am working on his reading and how I approach him in this area. I have been giving him opportunities to try, make mistakes and determine the different strategies to use. I am allowing him all the time he needs, instead of getting impatient with him and his distractability (he is also ADHD)> Even after three days of holding myself in check and encouraging him with appropriate praise, and help when needed, I am noticing huge improvements in his confidence and willingness to read! It is very difficult to change our pathways from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, but it is possible! Hang in there and take it one step at a time!

  4. Jacqui Ferguson

    Hi all,
    Growth mindset has assisted me this summer due in part to the massive wildfires around the Cariboo. I have been using the statement, “What will be will be.” All summer I have been on Alert or being told to get out and head to my hometown of Kamloops. I am heading back to school with the idea that simmer went too fast and I really didn’t get much of a vacation. Oh well! What will be will be.
    I am a Middle School Spec Ed teacher and I am always frustrated when I get my students and they already have a fixed mindset that they are (words I’ve heard) “stupid, retarded, not ever going to learn, never in the class, etc” By they time they head to the H.S. I try my mightiest to have them saying, “I can do anything and all I need to do is take little steps to be successful.”
    Chapter 1 and 2 was a great read reminding me that my goals and pathways for the most venerable students is so important. All students can achieve if we give them the right tools to do so. We are the oath – RARA and as the student develops they become the coach too to their fellow peers. As we develop their mindset we develop their overall enjoyment in achieving. We see them thriving and trying. We see them taking responsibility for their work and asking to do more and achieve higher standings.
    Chapter 1 and 2 sent me back into the mindset – what can I improve on and how can I help my students to achieve their best. I must say the little lessons and ideas do improve the read. We can all tweet and change them to fit our grades and students. Enjoyable read and great comments above. Enjoy your back to school days and let’s grow minds.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *