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My growth mindset journey began 5 years ago when I started co-teaching with Jenn Maichin, a veteran growth mindset practitioner and Mindset Works Professional Learning Specialist. At the time I knew nothing about Jenn’s teaching philosophy. I felt excited but nervous; if I only knew that I would grow so much as a teacher that year.
It was late fall of 2017 when my superintendent came to me and asked, “What are we going to do about the state of our kindergarten classrooms?” It was not news that the climate of our classrooms had becoming increasingly challenging and teachers were exhausting themselves trying to meet the diverse needs of our students, but how we responded to this challenge mattered. It mattered for the welfare of our students, but it also mattered for the welfare of our teachers. So, this is where the journey began.
Recently Education Week Research Center published a National Study of K-12 teachers examining teachers’ perspectives on Growth Mindset. One in five teachers strongly agreed they are “good at fostering a growth mindset.” Conversely, only 5% of those educators surveyed strongly agreed that they have “adequate solutions and strategies to use when students do not have this approach.”
Changing lives through education has been my passion and calling for over 35 years. Four years ago an exciting opportunity came my way when I worked with a team to develop a new early learning school model for my district.
At the end of the last school year I made a promise to myself that I would begin to teach mindset in a meaningful and memorable way. My school had been trained in mindset and done a book study of “Mindset” by Carol Dweck about three years ago, and the ideas really stuck with me.