Today I decided to jump on the bike for my cardio. When I'm on the bike, I like to read something to pass the time because quite frankly, I DESPISE the bike. But.... it's easier on my knees and feet, so I humor myself once a week and get on that stinky thing for an hour. :)
The book of choice today is, "Mindset The New Psychology of Success" by Carol Dweck. It's a pretty easy read, even for a slow-ish reader like me. :) This book is all about fixed and growth mindsets. How we, as people, can have one or the other but we can also have a mixture of both. Our mindset can also be changed (phew!). There was one thing (out of many) that stood out to me. It was about how students with fixed mindsets allow tests to define them. Here's what she said about students with fixed mindsets:
"They granted one test the power to measure their most basic intelligence now and forever. They gave this test the power to define them. That's why every success is so important."
I feel like when I was younger, like grade school age, this was me. As I grew, I became more of a growth mindset type of girl. I think it came out of the athletic side of me because I was never satisfied with being just ok at sports. I practiced and practiced to better myself and my skills. As I grew up and entered high school, my mindset about school changed too. It grew into the same mindset I had in sports. However, I did take the ACT and thankfully, I never let the test that said I was just "average" define me into college and adulthood.
I can't help but to think about the testing our kids take and how with the Third Grade Guarantee, some of our youngest, brightest students are allowing themselves to be defined by this assessment if they are in the fixed mindset mode. What do some of these kiddos do if they don't have sports or some other avenue to help them know they can do it if they keep on trying? Luckily, we have the power to help them change their mindset. Even though I'm not in a tested grade, I need to work on my firsties now to help change the mindset of... I can't into I can't...yet. (Carol coined this phrase I think) Luckily, I can work on this when I have my one-on-one writing conferences, but I do have a few kiddos who I'm not sure if one year is enough to change what is already in their minds. I am going to try and I'm also going to use the word "yet" a LOT!
From my Brown eyes to yours...