One of the most magical words that I think exists is “yet.” It can be added onto the end of almost any phrase to change its meaning. Like:
“I can’t do this”…YET.
“I have no idea what I’m doing”…YET.
“This doesn’t make sense”…YET.
It redeems all of these negative phrases! And, as a teacher, I really want my kids to understand that this word can change everything! It takes defeatedness and closed-mindedness and gives hope and possibility. When my kids say, “I don’t get this,” or “I don’t know how to do this,” I very inspirationally and emphatically shout, “YET! You don’t get it YET! You don’t know how to do it YET! But you will, because this isn’t over!” (I think I’m very inspirational and emphatic. The children may think differently.)
And so, I thought that I was original and motivational, and maybe a little revolutionary; an innovative, creative, hope-stirring baby teacher. But one day while I was eating my lunch I got on Pinterest and it smacked me in the head with the reality that only the internet can give.
I learned that this attitude is called Growth Mindset. It is totally already a thing that I did not come up with. I think I saw it once and then forgot about it and then remembered it but thought that it was mine (#oops).
But – Growth Mindset is amazing! Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers have endless posters, lesson plans, worksheets, bulletin boards, activities, parent resources, bookmarks…etc. There are classrooms all over America and the world that are focused on this: positivity, and overcoming and persevering through the difficulties that are inevitable to learning life. Growth Mindset is all about a student’s potential and ability to grow. I am a big fan of that!
I love Growth Mindset because I believe it’s important to have an attitude that is willing and ready to grow instead of being resigned to a perception of limited ability or a fixed amount of “smarts.”
The more I have learned and thought about Growth Mindset, the more I have become convinced of its use and effectiveness in all parts of life, not just academics. And when I think about it in light of the gospel, I am so moved! Like this:
I am not sanctified…YET.
Faith is being certain of what we cannot see…YET.
I am sinful…YET Jesus came for me, redeemed me, and loves me.
Jesus left…YET we know He will return!
So of course it isn’t Growth Mindset that this is all about; it’s the gospel. But this attitude change has been very big for me! I find it such an encouragement to think in a less restricted way – a way of truth and of life.
It’s a big deal! If we look at life as if it isn’t closed, as if the Lord’s work here isn’t done, we are able to go forward with more hope, more zeal, and more purpose.
Growth Mindset teaches us how to live in faith: things hoped for but not YET seen. We are working towards a specific goal, not endlessly forever, but with an end date that will be full of glory. It is so heartening, when it seems that so many other things are disheartening.
Who knew? Pinterest inspired me, and not just to do a craft (I’m not so crafty).
Growth Mindset: for the classroom and for the heart!