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October 20, 2012

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When we first started reading and discussing, I was certain I'd be a growth-mindset person. From what I know of you, Tom, I can see you in that mindset. I think I have more confidence in my students' ability to change--I don't see their skills or intellect as fixed--but looking back I on my own life, I treated myself very differently.

I had the opportunity to hear Carol Dweck at a conference over the summer. She was fascinating. I found out I am of the "growth mindset." In fact, I was totally unaware that the "fixed mindset" even existed! This knowledge, as you can imagine, has had repercussion on my teaching.

As for the book, there is some really interesting stuff, but as I mentioned, I feel like the examples are overwrought and excessive (Imagine that criticism coming from me!).

I agree that most teachers are of a fixed mindset, myself included. Our whole job is to assign a "label" to a student's proficiency, skill or knowledge. That label implies something fixed. I want to change my mindset, though, for my own good and for my children and my students. I still waffle at times over taking on new tasks, responsibilities, or challenges that I don't feel I'll master on the first go. But, when I think about the things that I learned the most from, they were the risks I ended up taking. There are many risks worth taking when we think about classroom practice--but if it doesn't go perfectly the first time, it is threatening...and therefore much easier to just do what we've always done that has more certainly of the "sure thing."

So glad you are delving into this area. This is a great book. Some friends passed this book on to me; their school read it as a school PLC. I started to read it. Good insights.

My father is a flexible mindset. In my life, I have often chosen to think like my father because my nature mindset is fixed. I don't take risks that would cause failure. However, thinking like my father, I have placed myself in so many wonderful situations where I have learn. Learned because I was challenged. And because I was challenged, I gained more skills (often new skills, unrelated to other aspects of my life: boxing, web design, character "acting").

Too bad we are not able to give this to our students. From another angle, teachers tend to be more fixed in their thinking, and as such, teachers tend to not push their own craft.

There is a great deal we can take away from your post, and the research.

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