My growth mindset: Under Construction

I have the growth mindset on many things in my life but I know that the fixed mindset rules more than a few.  I know that adopting the growth mindset more will allow me to not only workout and build my brain muscle but help me to reflect on if I am always allowing my students or even my children to do the same.  The growth mindset does wonders for a student when looking at grades because the focus is not on an overall assessment grade (which many times it’s apple to oranges compared to the previous assessment) but the growth in many of the underlying skills.  Many times that growth can be phenomenal which helps the student to see that they are getting smarter and maybe they aren’t doomed to “struggle” in a subject just like every year before.  The growth mindset is monumental to feedback acceptance. However, it seems like a hard area to operate consistently in the growth mindset.  There are so many things that can block one from being open to constructive criticism or just opposing stances.  I think that some of factors are: trust in the source, personal feelings about the source, perceived lack of knowledge from the source, lack of actively listening (vs. waiting to talk or walk away), etc.  This is personally a tough area for me therefore I plan to work in the growth mindset more often when it comes to feedback so that I can teach my students and my children a very important part of growing their brain and reminding themselves of the possibilities of “yet”.

What drives me as the main “why” is that I have always wanted to share my passion and love for learning.  I want every student to see that they are great at many things and it’s okay to not be great at everything.  I want them to see that they can if they only try and that no one is perfect.  I want them to know that it is okay to be uniquely themselves as long as they putting forth effort to be the best version of themselves.  As they try I see them learning and their mindset growing whether they intend to or not.

My choice will be shown not only in the platform that I use to host my website but in the specific content that I am using to express my authentic voice.  I could have stayed in my comfort zone and used Microsoft Power Point to create my first assignment but I decided to research possible unique alternatives.  I was then able to find Powtoon which I then had deliberate practice by creating a team video for our school’s open house before my first assignment.  I really learned the format and timing so that I did not struggle with that for my first assignment.  I also realized that I didn’t spend enough time learning the platform as I struggled with the audio at the last minute. I took ownership of my struggles but didn’t let that derail my growth mindset too much.  I learned that I should ask, explore, try then ask again instead of sitting in my looming failure of trials alone.

I have a passion for math but I also have a deep passion in igniting the spark that motivates students to make a choice.  By publishing my website and blog I am taking ownership and putting myself out there.  Once I jump over the first hurdle of making myself public then I am up for the challenge of finishing the journey.  There is no turning back or taking anything back.  My fears have been almost eliminated with the requirements of this course.  I was concerned with how I would be received by “the world” by publicly posting or sharing my thoughts and ideas.  The most valuable lesson that I have learned to date is that I do not have to hide my authenticity behind the walls of my classroom.  I feel more confident about my flow which was including collaborative learning with my students and allowing wait time instead of the pressure of the “lesson a day” type schedule.  The non-conventional format will best prepare my students for not just tests but life as they learn how to learn and discover their individual “whys”.  I have allowed myself to feel comfortable using choice, voice and authenticity again.  The DLL program has helped me to have the courage to give the students more choice, ownership, voice and authenticity in their learning and I am learning right along with them as I conquer my fear of ownership in the process.  I am learning to own the successes with the failures then hoping to receive feedback so that I can adjust and try again for the “yet” moment.

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