Almost daily I’m seeing references to the “Growth Mindset” on Twitter and am now hearing about it in professional development sessions and so I’ve decided to read Carol Dweck’s Mindset. So far, it’s fascinating and has caused a lot of self reflection for me. In many ways, I feel that I have a growth mindset and I hope that it comes across in the classroom, but I know that for most of my teenage years, I had the fixed mindset. I was the mark hungry student who didn’t really care about feedback as my whole focus was getting into university to become a teacher.
To be honest, I don’t think I valued the idea of learning and in fact, I don’t think I understood what it meant to be a learner. I think I grew up with always contemplating the future and didn’t really process that what was more important, was the journey I was on, not the destination. I often try to put myself back into the role of the student and imagine myself in my own classroom. If I had the mindset I have now, I would love my class, but if I was my teenage self in my classroom, I would find it frustrating. Frustrating that there is so much freedom, frustrating in that I wouldn’t receive marks, and frustrating because I didn’t see the value in being a learner. Somewhere along the line, the love of learning disappeared for me.
With considering my current mindset and former one, I have learned. I have learned that I need to be fostering the growth mindset. The thinking that we can always be improving, that learning doesn’t end with a grade, that we have to try, that we have to fail, that challenges help us learn and grow, and that anyone can be a teacher – no matter their age or education level.
My learning must continue – I owe it to my students and their future success.