Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset?

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset?
Last week the wind outside mt house was blowing hard and wild.  Tree branches were bending to the ground and limbs were getting knocked down. I looked out the window and noticed that my fence was leaning in one section and with the wild wind expected to continue for a few days, was at risk for causing more sections to domino downward.  Oh no! I didn't know what to do. But I did know that doing nothing would certainly mean that the fence would blow down flat.  
I felt annoyed at the situation and looked away from the window hoping beyond hope that it would all magically fix itself. I was acting like a baby with an out of sight, out of mind mentality.
Later that day as the wind died down I ventured outside to take a look.  I was feeling a bit more brave and reminded myself that I can fix this. I recalled telling my son so many times that he didn’t get his engineering know how from his father, he got some of that from his mother too!  I stood tall thinking with an "I can" attitude and thought about possible ways to fix the problem.
Link to image (by Sylvia Duckworth)
As I walked to the backside of the fence I realized the problem was with the post and I needed something heavy to push up against the base.  I went into the shed and found a heavy 4x4 block and returned to the post and placed it at the bottom.  But the post just went back to a leaning position.  Not wanting to give up, I went into the garage to look for a longer board to prop the fence section up with. BINGO!  I found one in the corner.  I came around the corner, pushed the board into the ground and then leaned it into the fence section.  Voila!  Success!  Mission accomplished!  My fortitude and can do attitude paid off and now I had averted the domino disaster of the entire fence blowing down in the wind.     
Walking away I was thinking about a graphic that I had seen on having a growth mindset. Once I found the image again I started to realize that I had said many of the statements on both sides of the fence (pun intended!).
When I first looked at the situation my fixed mindset began with rants such as:  “I’m not good at this”, “I give up” and even “This is too hard.”  
But then when my growth mindset attitude kicked in I said:  “I’m on the right track.”  And “This may take some time and effort.”  And when block number one didn't work I found myself saying: “Good thing the alphabet has 25 more letters!”
Having a growth mindset that day was certainly the key to getting my fence standing upright. Maybe I need to print this out and keep it at my desk so I can more readily move to using that growth mindset at school too!

When have you needed to think using a growth mindset lately?


  1. Bravo, to you! I'm glad that your growth mindset dominated and you were able to get the fence under control. I think it is a good idea to print out the graphic. It's perfect for those days when you need a gentle reminder.

  2. Well done! I am impressed by your engineering skills. Thanks for sharing the graphic, too.

  3. This is a great example of learning from teaching! You have changed yourself while trying to change young lives. I love the graphic as well!