Over the Christmas break I read mindset by Carol Dweck and thoroughly enjoyed it. Her discussion of the different mindsets made me really reflect on myself as a learner and what I do in the classroom.
As we are just two weeks into the second semester, it’s really fascinating to see how the fixed mindset is something that many of my students seem to have. I feel like there is a fear of failure and an expectation that they need to be perfect and I’m throwing a curveball by asking them not be afraid to make a mistake.
Earlier in the week I was really frustrating to some students as I let them make their own decisions on a topic for their first blog post. I’m using their first post as a writing diagnostic and it took a while to get some students to buy into the idea that writing about what you’re interested in (as opposed to a topic from the teacher) is acceptable in class.
From this some good learning for me has occurred:
– I’m really going to have focus on using the essential learnings to explain our tasks
– that I have some work to do around the idea of mindsets
– that I need to build a lot of trust and have strong rapport with each and every student
– and that I need to keep reiterating that we have to practice skills before I can assess their abilities
– and that English is a skills based curriculum and it’s skill development that is key