Well, I missed yesterday…sorry. Promise broken, I think not! I never promised to blog every day, I just promised to make a more concerted effort to do better at blogging…but I digress.
Today I want to talk about an article I read on the TES website. The article was by Carol Dweck and it was about growth mindset. Not just growth mindset, but how we don’t really understand growth mindset YET! (Like what I did there) The article went on to say that unless we truly understand the concept of growth mindset, it, like so many hot education methods, will become a flash in the pan. It seems having a growth mindset is NOT just telling kids “you can do this” or posting graphics to our classroom walls. Growth mindset is a way of life! So I have a question…do you think I am doing it right?
Last year was my first full year of teaching 1:1 with laptops. I eagerly dove in to the tech-educator role with both feet. I tried to do something with the computers every day. We Skyped with other classes, we went on virtual field trips, we became familiar with google forms, docs, and slides, we used educational tools, we did it all. For a while, I loved it. The students were engaged and I felt they were making very well rounded gains. However, as with every journey to paradise, there was one issue I found very difficult to overcome. My students did not know how to “fix” minor computer issues. Cries of “Mr. Hattal, my computer won’t connect” or “Mr. Hattal, this webpage won’t open” echoed off my classroom walls. I would run from student to student putting out minor fires. I was exhausted after using the computers. I began to dread getting the computers out! So, with a firmly entrenched FIXED mindset, I started using my computers less and less.
This year I wanted to get a handle on the issue very early. So I devised a plan, based off of what I learned about the process of developing a growth mindset. Ok, so I started with some tough love. I told the students that I will not fix their computer, in fact I will not even look at their computer, until they can tell me at least three steps THEY have taken to resolve the issue. While painful at first, the results were almost instantaneous. My students became the computer repair experts, and I have regained my appreciation for this powerful tool.
So what do you think, growth mindset? Or just a lazy teacher…?