Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” Mr. Walden himself had a growth mindset and according to the results of the quiz I do as well. The quiz results stated that I will continue to grow by learning “techniques to be more comfortable with negative feedback.” I believe that implies that the part of me that could deal with criticism better is the fixed mind part of me. I wonder what those techniques for being more humble are. Like the former NYC mayor, Ed Koch, with his “How am I doing?” approach to leadership, I solicit constructive feedback regularly. I do not know many teachers who invite administrators into their classes so that they may test out a new technique or unproven teaching strategy, but I do. I am innately reflective of myself and my practice. Thusly, I’m seeking evolution and encouraging it in others; consistently drawing upon my own experiences, mistakes, and the noble truths.
I believe that my growth mindset is a product of nurture and nature. I was born fearless and my inclinations to be a risk-taker were solidified by the first teachers in my home and the teachers I found the most inspirational in school and in life. When Carol Dweck refers to “”the power of yet” it resonates deeply within my rebellious soul. I aim to harness this “power of yet” and instill that within my students.
People with a growth mindsets believe in themselves and do not fear failure; they have an ability to overcome obstacles by working hard and persevering. They take risks and relish the rewards they earn. Those with fixed mindsets have already taken inventory of their skills and intelligence and shy away from opportunities for the fear of failure and embarrassment. (Dweck, 2012)
A person living in a fixed mindset does not take ownership over their destiny and they have many fears and excuses. The mindset of a person becomes transparent when faced with learning a new skill. Having a fixed or growth mindset makes all the difference in the process and the outcome. The person with a growth mindset is resilient; they are mentally prepared to make mistakes and keep going. The person with fixed mindset gives up and gives in too easily. They have not learned that failure is one step closer to success. Teachers and learning leaders have a tremendous responsibility to encourage the growth mindset. Ironically, an area in which I need to develop more of a growth mindset is in the classroom by enabling student technology usage in and outside the classroom. I have ipads at my disposal, but I’m holding back for fear of poor management. I know there are efficient ways to implement a blended classroom and I am working on it. This is the year…
It is essential that leaders in education utilize creativity and innovation and cultivate a growth mindset. It is a responsibility for learning leaders to be adaptive which more than not requires innovation. With technology we are evolving, expanding access to information, and transforming our reality. The innovative and interactive technology leaders can teach people how to think more creatively. As Ken Robinson said in his 2010 Ted Talk, “life is not linear, it’s organic.” He was referring to the education system as a broken system; one which learning leaders may be able to fix by being creative and fostering creativity. He likened education to farming because agriculturalists optimize land to grow more crops. (Robinson, 2010) Creativity in leadership is un-formulaic such as life and success.
Dweck, C. (2012). Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve | TED Talk [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve
Dweck, C. (2009). Who will the 21st-century learners be? Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 8– 9.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012e). Promoting a growth mindset [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Robinson, K (2012). Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | TED Talk [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution