Dweck’s (2007) book was a great introduction to the start of my journey in the DLL program back in August. It reminded me of the different ways my students may respond to being challenged in my classroom. As I began to reread the book, I almost thought for a minute that Dr. Dweck had been following me around and writing about students in my classroom. I noticed stories that reminded me of a few of my students this school year and how entrenched they are in a fixed mindset. I knew that the majority of my classroom is filled with students that think they are stuck with the intelligence that they have right now. They are unwilling to make mistakes and always want to succeed or better yet, not try at all! I was reintroduced to another fixed mindset trait that is very prevalent in my classroom as well; students who look for someone who did worse than they did. I find this to be a very common occurrence as students look for a way to distract themselves from their failure (Dweck, 2014). The following graphic created by Gerstein (2015) gives me a great visual to help my students see the progression of what their learning can and should look like.
I have realized just how much I had forgotten since I created my Growth Mindset Plan, about the fixed mindset and how it is very front and center for students that are in upper elementary to middle school age. Looking back, I did a good job of beginning the school year by introducing the growth mindset in different ways. Additionally, I have changed quite a bit when it comes to ‘how’ I talk to my students. I focus on ‘learning from mistakes’ and not the final grade. But as I reflect more on my original plan I have noticed that I let the lack of time affect my goal of incorporating growth mindset activities on a bi-weekly basis. I may need to revisit this goal, but still feel like there is definitely room for improvement to help my classroom become a true home to a growth mindset (Dweck, 2016).
Reflecting on this on a regular basis has helped me push through when I have been close to falling back into bad habits brought on by the fixed mindset. So how does this connect with my learning environment? That is an answer that is going to grow and change as the school year progresses just like my mindset. Although I have had a few moments of despair during this course as I realize the difficulty of being able to implement all of these aspects in the middle of a school year; I also notice that a fixed mindset is trying to get in the way of my students future success and I will not let that happen. My DLL journey at Lamar University has been a windy and sometimes bumpy ride, but I know that my students will reap the benefits of all of the hard work I am putting in. My journey to a growth mindset will probably never end, and yet I know I will never get tired of pursuing it either.
Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The psychology of success. New York, NY. Ballentine Books.
Dweck, C. (2014, Dec. 7). The power of believing that you can improve [TED Talk]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/_X0mgOOSpLU.
Gerstein, J. (2015, Sept.). Growth mindset: Personal accountability & reflection [Infographic]. Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.files. wordpress.com/2015/09/growth-mindset_-personal-accountability-and-reflection.png