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Instructional Leadership

TEach ‘Em Up: The Power of Growth Minded Teachers

Written by Daya Cozzolino, TE Instructional Coach

In TE our motto is “TEach ‘Em Up”, a simple, and yet incredibly powerful phrase. However, I often wonder what this phrase truly means for our our teachers, students and the members of the TEam.

Recently a colleague gave me this excerpt from the book Mindset. The section that I read focused on great teachers and their impact on their students. The author argued that the strongest teachers (those who make the most difference in the lives of their students) have a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset. Growth-minded teachers believe that all students can learn at a high level, and believe that ANYTHING is possible in their classrooms.

Students with growth-minded teachers believe in themselves and are invested in their learning. These students understand that they will need to work hard to be successful. However, they also know that their teachers will create an environment where they can continuously improve. By learning from teachers with growth mindsets, these students are able to develop the same mindset which will allow them to be successful adults.

Teachers with growth mindsets understand that they need to set high standards for ALL students. They understand that a child isn’t born with intelligence or talent, but that it is up to them to foster learning in their students. These teachers not only challenge their students, but also provide them with ways to be successful. They model for their students the importance of growing and learning by continuing to develop and improve in their roles as educators.

As Instructional Coaches, we push our teachers to grow and learn every day. By establishing an environment where teachers are not only given praise for what they do well, but also areas for growth, we help encourage a growth mindset. By doing this, the goal is for our teachers to infuse this mindset within their own classrooms.

My biggest takeaway from this reading was that the belief in continuous growth and improvement for students, teachers, and ourselves is what fuels our program. It’s why we TEach ‘Em Up!

In what areas are you committed to improving? What impact does you think this commitment will have on your students?

For those of you entering Teaching Excellence for the 2012-13 school year, we invite you to engage with us in the comments about any of  your reactions to the Mindset excerpt.

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Discussion

264 thoughts on “TEach ‘Em Up: The Power of Growth Minded Teachers

  1. As a future math teacher, I was slightly weary of my own fears of math. I have struggled with math for many years, and although I have made “As” in most of my math classes I still get a lump in my throat when I see a math problem. I have begun to conquer my fears of math. I am committed to making math fun for myself and my students in an effort to vanquish fear of math. I believe that all my students can defeat their math fears and apply themselves with focus instead of fearing math problems.

    Posted by Danielle Aguirre | May 20, 2013, 3:24 pm
    • I think this is a fantastic goal that many people can relate to, including myself. Thank you for sharing this.

      Posted by Xochitl Safady | June 29, 2013, 6:32 am
    • I have the exact same thoughts! Math has been a challenge for me, and I am a bit weary of this coming year, but excited just the same. I want to make math a great experience for my students and help them overcome their fears.

      Posted by Jenn Davis | July 4, 2013, 11:57 am
    • I am committed to improving my ability to put people in the frame of mind where they can learn best. This process has been show to be crucial in taking seemingly disinterested, discarded students and showing them they can learn just as well as anyone. I want to be able to reach every student at their level, and give them the tools they need to meet high expectations.

      Posted by tgilfillan | July 6, 2013, 2:42 pm
    • I have very similar thoughts and beliefs as is seen in this excerpt. I think it is very important for schools and teachers to understand the importance of raising standards while making sure that the students have the means to be successful. By not doing this, we are doing our students a disservice.

      Posted by Andy Rachlin | July 7, 2013, 7:44 pm
    • The point that teaching is a constant process of learning really resonated with me. In my own experience, I’ve felt that being a teacher has made me better at reading, writing, math, etc. I think it’s important to emphasize to my students that I have grown along with them. This helps to model that intellectual growth is a lifelong process, and the love of learning does not end when formal school is complete.

      Posted by Katie Larsen | July 9, 2013, 2:35 pm
      • I agree with your thought on how learning does not stop when we graduate school. Although, some students do have perception that learning ends when they finish school. As teachers, we must guide and teach students that learning does not mean just academics, but learning may be in relationships, life, career, etc. One cannot stop learning just because one completed formal schooling. As a teacher, I am committed to encourage my students to use what they learn in the classroom and try to apply what they learn to their lives and make connections with the real world. This way, students are learning meaningful information in school and relating them to their lives. Research as shown that students remember or can recall information more often if they relate the information to their lives and make connections. This is insightful for me as a teacher because it pushes me to become a practical teacher. I strive to be a teacher that inspires and encourage my students.

        Posted by Daquynh Ngo | July 9, 2013, 11:05 pm
      • Katie, what you wrote reminds me of the the other aspect of education. Yes, we have to teach and ensure that our children understand academic content but there’s the other aspect of socialization. As teachers, we are our goal is to ultimately create productive citizens of society. That goes far beyond teaching.

        So, yes we do need to instill that learning is lifelong; it is constant learning that will always keep ones intellectual growth alive.

        Posted by SaMone Ballard | July 14, 2014, 9:09 pm
    • For me it’s been a while since I’ve been entrenched in math. My goal is to gain more confidence in math. I know I can do it, it’s almost in some ways like riding a bike…

      Posted by Brandee Davis | July 9, 2013, 11:48 pm
    • I can fully relate to Danielle’s comment. I feel as though I was placed in reading because of my background in journalism, but the reality is thinking abstract is a concept that I have yet to master in my 22 years on earth. Any subject that did not involve hard facts, black and white, data were generally my weak points. Geometry was even hard for me because the concepts were abstract (and I love math!). While I am a journalist and a graphic designer, which are both creative fields, they both involve structure and facts. I feel as though trying to explain to someone the metacognitive processes I believe are natural, abstract, and unexplainable is difficult. Not to mention, reading is by far THE most fundamental subject. However, having to teach reading this summer and learning strategies for teaching is helping slightly. I know that this is something that I will master over time.

      Posted by TaQuana Williams | July 9, 2013, 11:56 pm
    • I am committed to improving encouraging a growth mindset and raising higher standards for my students. This committment will be impactful because it will lead my students to success and not exclude or show greater attention towards certain types of students.

      Posted by Somi Ogunsuada | July 23, 2013, 9:44 pm
    • This excerpt struck a personal chord within me. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find many of the ideas identical to my own teaching theories. I think it is great to see that there remains educators whom make teaching not so much a job but a lifestyle. I aspire to continue to be a “student” of my own classroom.

      Posted by Mai Thoi | June 17, 2014, 12:16 pm
  2. Entering the teaching world without a teaching background is a daunting thought, exciting, but daunting. My biggest take away from the “Mindset” reading is that it isn’t so much my background that will effect my teaching, but more my mindset about my students and what I believe they can achieve, along with my love of learning. My biggest fear is that I will be more of a hinderance to my students’ education than an asset. However, after reading this excerpt, I believe I have a growth mindset. If I nurture that mindset and set high standards for my students, like the ones I set for myself, I can only improve and hopefully my students will feel safe enough in the classroom to love learning as much as I do.

    Posted by Lorri Marlow | May 21, 2013, 11:51 am
  3. I like the idea of great teachers being teachers who see growth in the long run. I hate to give up on students, because I feel that many students have potential to be much more than what society has shown them to be. Many people give up on certain students because they simply cannot grasp concepts as quickly as other students, instead of finding another way to get the students to grasp the concepts. I really liked how the teacher handled the student who did not want to participate. That was one of the things that I would not know how to react to, but after reading this passage I can think of different ways in which I could have the students participate.

    Posted by Lilibeth Marroquin | May 21, 2013, 2:22 pm
  4. In a good classroom, everyone is learning–the teacher included. As a future world history teacher, I will have a lot of material to cover, a lot of different facts and dates and names that my students will need to know, and I will absolutely have to find the time, somewhere amidst all of those facts, to show students that history is, in fact, interesting–to show them that they can play with ideas and big stories in class. I am committed to improving my capacity to motivate others and reveal the many different aspects of history to appeal to all kinds of audiences. For my students, this means that I will make the time to make sure they’re all keeping up, and to show them that it matters to me whether or not they care or are interested by the subject. Hopefully my students will enjoy the “brains getting bigger” feeling as well.

    Posted by Natalia Holstein | May 21, 2013, 6:09 pm
  5. My favorite class in college was my educational psychology class, mostly because it would ask questions that don’t necessarily have answers. On the day we learned about teacher expectations, we talked about the self-fulfilling prophecy which is when a teacher has an expectation of a student prior to year either because of their low-income status, or siblings etc. We also talked about the constancy expectation which is when a teacher does not change their expectations of a student despite a change in the student’s behavior. After talking about the two, the class sat quietly waiting for the “right” kind of expectation, but the professor decided to challenge us instead, and asked which one do you think is better? Posed with this question, I felt that the right answer was to have no expectation before getting to know your students, and then allowing your expectations to be dynamic and tailored to the students. While our professor ended the class saying that it was up to us as teachers to figure out what to do, I feel that this excerpt has helped me understand that an expectation does need to be fluid. It needs to be high and focused on improvement, in order to push our kids to achieve at high levels. The teachers mentioned did not let their expectations be affected by what they heard about their students, but instead held them to high expectations despite the odds. It was good to hear concrete examples that will help me integrate the ideas in my classroom.

    Posted by Isabella Morana | May 21, 2013, 8:16 pm
  6. In order to make an impact you have to strive to reach new heights. The task is not only in challenging your students but challenging yourself. As a science teacher I want to create better labs and activities that will make learning science interesting and showing how applicable it truly is to daily life. I am committed to improving my lesson plans, which will have an overall change in what and how the students learn.

    Posted by Ngozika Mbadugha | May 22, 2013, 1:42 pm
  7. I’m committed to continually seeking more and better information about how the mind works and how we retain knowledge. This is especially important to explore in music because, unlike “academic” subjects, it involves motor learning in addition to intellectual learning. I’m also committed to always finding ways to be passionate about whatever I’m teaching and the knowledge I’ve aquired on HOW to teach it. Every student will one day become a teacher, not necessarily in the formal sense, but perhaps as a mentor, parent, or friend. The way I interact with the students will impact the way they learn to interact with the people around them for the rest of their lives, therefore it’s important to me to create an environment that fosters love, respect, creativity, and exploration.

    Posted by Jeremiah Stones | May 23, 2013, 11:32 am
  8. I think the most striking part of this excerpt was the idea of “challenging and nurturing,” and I really hope to bring that concept to the forefront of my classroom. In order to grow students, the author argues for an atmosphere of difficult, complex material, and high standards infused with a loving and supportive teacher who teaches rather than judges.

    When I think back to my own favorite teachers, I think that idea encapsulates them so nicely. I was never afraid to ask a question, give my opinion, express concern, etc., but I knew that they expected a lot from me and believed I could achieve those high goals.

    Posted by Claire Taylor | May 25, 2013, 7:35 pm
  9. At some point during one of his TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson makes a very interesting reflection about what I would refer to as the impossibility of education. He claims that education involves preparing students for a future that has not yet arrived, a future that we cannot yet imagine. To put it simply, we teach so our students can deal with the world they will encounter years after they have left our classrooms.

    Carol Dweck offers yet another connection between teaching and the future when she notes the importance of high standards in education today. According to Dweck, today’s students will pass their knowledge on to future generations. In this view, the students are not only recipients of knowledge; they are also in charge of transmitting that knowledge to others. And this reminds us that, even in a digital age of hyper-connectivity—one that is at times impersonal and at times isolating—the transmission of knowledge is always, and ultimately, a very personal task. There is, I believe, an ethical and social responsibility that permeates both teaching and learning, a responsibility that starts in our classrooms but reaches into the future.

    What is, then, the classroom culture that most effectively helps us to exercise this responsibility? It is a culture shaped by humble, hard-working, resourceful teachers who never cease to be amazed by the process of learning, and are thus able to create and re-create an atmosphere of “genuine affection and concern,” as Dweck notes when she describes the work of Marva Collins in Chicago. Teachers like Collins have a “growth mindset.” In other words, they care about every single student in their classrooms as learners but also as human beings. In contrast, the “fixed mindset teachers” exemplify a self-fulfilling prophecy in education: by not believing in the possibility of improvement, they set up obstacles that keep improvement from happening. This is a teaching based on stereotypes that gives up on students even before they have even set foot in the classroom.

    Growth-minded teaching is not only about high standards. Growth-minded teachers teach not only content (Shakespeare, the periodic table, the Mexican revolution, polynomials) but also how to reach the high standards they have set for their students. This is why Sir Ken Robinson refers to education as an organic process. Like the teachers in Dweck’s book, I also want to be a teacher-planner-life-long learner. I want to be able to help students develop (that is, help them express what is already present) analytical and thinking skills and a solid work ethic. By doing so, I aim to establish in my classroom the foundations for an atmosphere of trust and affection, one that is both nurturing as well as disciplined.

    Posted by Cesar Seveso | May 27, 2013, 3:18 pm
  10. As a new chemistry teachers, I see engaging students who “don’t like science” as one of the challenges. However, I believe that science is relevant to everyone. Regardless of the career you choose, understanding science provides an understanding of how the world works and makes your life richer. I hope that relating chemistry to everyday experiences such as cooking or air conditioning will be one part of engaging all of my students.

    Similarly, I hope that trying to understand how my students work will help keep me engaged as a teacher. As a new teacher, I expect to make my share of mistakes. Understanding why something did not work for me will be an important part of figuring out how to make it work.

    Posted by Thomas McHugh | May 27, 2013, 5:09 pm
  11. What I found interesting about this excerpt is how Dweck differentiates between teachers helping students feel successful by lowering standards and teachers helping students find success through pushing them to meet high standards. In my classroom, I want to make sure that I remember this excerpt’s message that talent is not something that a student is born with or without; it is a matter of whether or not they’ve learned a certain skill yet.

    Posted by Hannah Jarmolowski | May 28, 2013, 3:51 pm
  12. Something that I really enjoyed about the growth mindset excerpt was that there are multiple levels of the growth mindset. I really struggle with seeing my failures as chances to learn, but if I want my students to see their challenges as opportunities to improve, I must also agree to use each set back as a chance for growth. By modeling this for my students and creating a space where they can see my growth as a teacher/person (along with their own), I believe students will feel more encouraged. My class will be able to see how we are all growing from challenges together instead of them feeling isolated with their struggles in academics or their personal life.

    Posted by Kristian Lenderman | May 28, 2013, 5:22 pm
  13. In what areas are you committed to improving? What impact does you think this commitment will have on your students?

    Relentlessness toward student apathy. More students than I care to acknowledge in a P.E. class choose not to participate. But as a proponent of fitness for the masses – as a lifestyle to improve everything else we do – I cannot allow students to sit (sitting is the new smoking) at least in the one place they are expected to move. Learning is not limited to hard subjects. If P.E. teachers can help a student learn to love moving, not only will we see a vast decline in health issues but students will grow into adults know the power of “hard work and more hard work.” They will be able to face challenges and recognize the path to success.

    I recognize my own lack of understanding in creating a nurturing environment inside a health and fitness climate. Many students (and adults) have developed significant mental barriers toward a safe environment to fail but still get back up and press on. P.E. is such a social environment that the failures are overly visible and successes under acknowledged. I suppose I must find a way to take Esquith at his word – “Nothing is left to chance… It takes enormous amounts of energy.”

    There are no shortcuts.

    Call me Grasshopper for I have much to learn.

    Posted by Kyle Stallard | May 31, 2013, 3:01 pm
  14. In general this passage left me feeling very encouraged and in awe. The teachers described represent the type of teacher that I long to be some day. A teacher that loves (or at the least cares) for each student, believes in each student’s potential, and is willing to truly challenge the students to reach achievement. Hopefully all newcomers to the teaching profession aspire to be the type of teachers examined in the passage!

    One aspect that truly stood out to me was the author mentioning that it is easy to pay lip service to the belief that all students have the potential to learn. I think this is certainly true, and something for all to be wary of. As a teacher it certainly is easy to say that one believes that all students have the potential to achieve. Simply saying one believes in the potential of all students will not help them grow. Rather, the difference is made in the actions and heart put in to educating one’s students. As a teacher I hope not to simply pay lip service to the belief that all children can succeed, but instead desire to do what is necessary to actually ensure that all students are growing. I am hopeful that the TE program will help to ensure that I am growing as a teacher, and taking the necessary actions to guarantee success for my students. I am really excited for this challenge, and excited to work with others who will also be enthusiastic to truly serve their students!

    To wrap up, I agree in the importance mentioned of teachers being willing to learn. One of the roles of a teacher is to be a mentor or role-model. If we are expecting our students to learn, we must set the example. Teachers that are growth-minded not only believe in the ability of all their students to grow, they also believe in the importance of continually growing their own abilities and understandings. In doing this teachers stay sharp, learn new methods, and continually push themselves to improve. There is never a limit to how much one can learn, and that goes just as much for teachers as it does for students!

    Overall I really enjoyed reading this article, and hope you enjoyed my comments!

    Thanks!

    McLean Rabb

    Posted by McLean Rabb | June 3, 2013, 12:23 pm
  15. Reflecting on my own experiences as a student, the teachers that I loved were those that pushed me and never gave up on me. Many times teachers give up on struggling students, and focus on the smartest ones, when the students that need the teacher the most are those that have difficulties. As an educator it is important to me not to ever give up on any of my students. I also whole heartedly believe in the nurturing aspect of teaching and not judging. I have seen what a negative teacher looks like, and sounds and that is not good for any student. The Mindset is a great reminder of the educator to be and grow into continually evolving to share in the experience of learning with my future students.

    Posted by Patricia M. Tonche | June 4, 2013, 11:14 am
  16. Although inspiring, the excerpt is missing a key part to the story; how does one get all their students to achieve the high standards that have been set? I think Dweck alludes to it when she describes how Esquith spends hours deciding what chapters to read in class and which students will tackle which sections when reading aloud. It is differentiation. When I use this word, I do not mean giving some students less or easier work so they have some contrived successes. I mean providing scaffolding to some, or even all students, in the beginning so that all students are succeeding at meaningful challenging tasks. Hopefully these scaffolds can be removed or reduced as the year goes on so that students will rely less and less on them. As a future teacher, this is one of my biggest weaknesses that I hope strengthen in the coming year.

    On a side note, what should we do with our academically stronger students? While I certainly believe that all students can achieve at extremely high academic levels, not all students are the same. If you were teaching Itzhak Perlman, would you give him the same pieces and tell him to play them in the same way as everyone else? Probably not, you would want to challenge him more. That’s not saying you give everyone else easy pieces, you can still hold them to very high standards while challenging more gifted students. But again, the question I need help with is how to do this effectively.

    Posted by John Ciarleglio | June 4, 2013, 2:25 pm
  17. Marva Collins spoke volumes to me. “Well goodbye to failure, children. Welcome to success. You will read hard books in here and understand what you read. You will write every day… But you must help me to help you. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.”

    Unfortunately in our education system, it does seem like a common trend that teachers have lost their drive and kids can sense that lack of enthusiasm. If a teaher has lost their motivation and belief that they can truly make a difference, how does that make a child feel? It is important in order to be a good educator to know how your behavior affects the attitudes of the kids you’re teaching. If you’re a learner and strive to constantly be so, that exudes in your daily teachings.

    It is also important to think about the generational differences between ourselves and the children we are teaching. Do we live in a society where we feel entitled to everything? Collins discusses this. You have to give in order to receive. You have to know you want something before you can succeed in having it.

    As teachers it is our responsiblity to give that drive and motivation to the young minds. It is our responsibility to consistently and effectively make a difference.

    Posted by Mary Chauvin | June 5, 2013, 7:21 am
  18. I looked a little more into Marva Collins and found one of her strategies especially ingenious. Whenever a student misbehaved, his “punishment” was to make an alphabetical list of wonderful things about himself that made him too good for the misbehavior. I found this strategy so amazing because not only does it not belittle students for their misbehavior, but it also fosters the self-dignity for students to not want to misbehave. I think many of us (at least I personally) take for granted that a people can accomplish great things with a positive mindset. This seems so obvious that we assume others know it about themselves. However, I think physically writing something down would further reinforce the idea, giving students a confidence boost. It reminds me of the psychological study in which subjects who were induced to smile by holding a pen in their mouths subsequently ranked higher in happiness than control subjects. Likewise, without being directly conscious of it, simply by writing and thinking positive things about themselves, students gain more self-confidence and are less likely to misbehave. While it is easy to assume a nurturing environment, we must not forget that these concrete reminders make a huge impact.

    Posted by Wenfei Wei | June 6, 2013, 3:23 am
  19. How can growth-minded teachers be so selfless, devoting untold hours to our worst students? What I worry about is not being able to connect with those students, to encourage them to excel or at least reach for the high expectations that we have for all students. As a teacher I want to improve my ways to set up all of my students for success in the classroom, to keep them engaged and help to foster motivation for learning. I want to be able to grow in my knowledge and to foster the love of learning for my students. I know that it is important to provide multiple opportunities to allow students to shine and what I want to improve is how to provide more opportunities for those students who might not want to achieve their best.

    Posted by Cody Elwell | June 6, 2013, 6:19 pm
  20. This excerpt illuminated a lot for me. Teaching suits me because I enjoy learning what makes people “tick” and I am constantly trying to figure others out. Interacting with students and showing them that I care about them is not enough. I believe that it is important to show students that I respect them not only as students, but as individuals. As the excerpt showed, honesty is key. Tell students the truth! I like how one of the teachers that was used as an example told a student that if he didn’t participate then he was the one that would suffer in the future. She also made sure to tell him that she cared about him. She told another student at one point, “I’m going to love you even when you don’t love yourself.” She did not “baby” her students; she treated them as adults that were capable of thinking for themselves. I want to treat my students as adults and get them to participate and succeed by telling them the truth. I would like to foster their intrinsic motivation and not rely on extrinsic motivating factors to get them to correct nonconstructive behaviors.

    Posted by Sara Llansa | June 9, 2013, 3:21 pm
  21. One of the biggest take-away points in this article, to me, is the notion that students must be freed of their fear of failure. All students–no matter how blase they might act–fear being evaluated in some way, shape or form and deemed “lacking.” (That’s a fear that stretches into adulthood, too!) Teachers must be deliberate in building a nurturing class environment; they must communicate (explicitly and implicitly) to their classes that struggle is a natural part of the learning process. What we aim for in a classroom is the acquisition of skills, not some illusive perfection of self.

    I was also drawn to the point that high standards must be paired with proper scaffolding/teaching skills on the part of the instructor. As the author points out, it is a recipe for disaster to simply set high standards and take a “survival of the fittest” approach in the classroom. We as teachers should not be setting high standards simply so we can pat ourselves on the back (“Hey, we’re demanding! Good for us!”). Rather, we should set those standards because a) we truly believe that our students can achieve at high levels and b) we as teachers are holding ourselves to the highest standards, too. Teachers are accountable in not only setting high standards but purposefully guiding students to meet those challenges.

    Posted by Anne Derrig | June 10, 2013, 2:31 pm
  22. “The great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are fascinated with the process of learning.” What a powerful quote.

    I loved this article, because not only did it present a theory but it gave direct instruction for how teachers could implement it. Thinking of teaching as a form of learning is something I’ve never thought of before, but I’m so glad I’ve heard of it. As a TFA corps member, it might be very easy to think, “I’m a college graduate. I’m here to impart knowledge to you because I am above you.” But how rewarding is it to think of teaching as a way to learn, both to teach and about people. This will definitely help not only with my motivation level, but I’m sure with my relationship with my students.

    Also, I really enjoyed this article because it is so in line with the TFA values. Each child has potential – no matter where they’ve come from or how they’ve performed in classes previously. Each child has potential and it is your job as a teacher to help that student foster it. We are not trying to improve the below average student’s performance one grade level, or even to get them to their grade level. We are trying to get each child to excel to their full potential, which surely goes beyond standardized testing basic skills. As a teacher, I hope to get my students to have a deep understanding of basic science as well as an overwhelming curiosity about the world around them.

    Posted by Caroline Flowers | June 10, 2013, 8:36 pm
  23. Throughout my experience as a student I have had the entire spectrum of teachers and professors. The reason why math has become my passion is because most of my mathematics teachers have pushed me hard and always challenged me, but also made it do-able to succeed with hard work, effort and dedication. One of the worst feelings is doing everything you can and never achieving the results/grade wanted, but it is also disappointing when you can easily obtain an A and feel you did not deserve it.

    I can relate to the idea that a teacher should at the same time be dedicated and open to learning. As I started teaching Algebra II during college, I realized that I was able to understand my high level mathematics courses better by being reminded of the basics. Also, I realized that I was able to see all the concepts I was teaching with different “eyes” than when I was taking it myself, and therefore making it more interesting, exciting and more clear to my students.

    I was inspired reading this article as it reminded me that all students should be viewed as having the potential to improve and the teachers should be fully dedicated to make that happen. I am therefore committed to make myself available to every single students, and through discipline, high expectations, and needed materials, help them all reach the next level of expertise in mathematics.

    Posted by Daniela Iliescu | June 11, 2013, 8:11 pm
  24. I love this excerpt and the message it lends through the stories of these teachers. One piece that really stands out in our education system is “Stereotypes tell teachers which groups are bright and which groups are not. So teachers with the fixed mindset know which students to give up on before they’ve even met them.”

    I can honestly admit to having the mindset at times, and being engaged with other educators who have it as well. Not only does it keep us from doing our best, but it takes away every power we have to help each student reach their highest potential. It is so easy with the system in place to anticipate what each student will be like based on various factors, most prevalently being standardized testing. However, I feel that my push will be to engage each student at their level and strive to move them forward academically, regardless of any preconditions that have been established for them.

    In my own experience, I was a student who was stereotyped, even in my senior year of high school. I was an AP-level student but I decided to opt out of Junior level AP English. When I arrived in my senior English AP class, my teacher embarrassed me the very first day by asking what the heck I was doing in her class since I hadn’t taken the advanced class the previous year. She could tell that I wanted to be there, but she most certainly was not going to make it easy. She pushed me all year, making sure that I worked for every single assignment in her class and I still appreciate her attitude to this very day. I was deathly afraid of her in the beginning because I knew she could not fathom how I ended up with her. However, she was able to put that aside in order to teach me a distinct love for literature and learning, things that I had never even thought much of before.

    To this end, I always think of how I can become more like Ms. Koch…that teacher who pushes not for your achievement level or some score, but for a mutual love of learning in general. I believe this excerpt also carries that message and I hope that I can exhibit this in my teaching and interactions with the team and students at Yes!

    Posted by Brittany Alexander | June 11, 2013, 8:36 pm
  25. I loved reading the excerpt mindset and how it truly sets the tone for the school year. Coming from a state that in my opinion, enables students and lowers standards just to make a student and/or parent happy, it was very refreshing to read that “lowering standards leads to poorly educated students who feel entitled to easy work and lavish praise.” By keeping those high standards, students will rise to the occassion. But it is not enough to have high standards if you are not willing to work just as hard, if not harder, as the students to help them reach those standards. I think students remember the teachers that pushed them to achieve greatest and supported them the entire time.

    I think it is so important that when learning about our future students that we don’t harbor any biases or prejudge them. There are going to be students that have had problematic pasts. But if teachers continue to limit a child, then how do you expect them to do more than that. While student teaching in a 1st grade classroom, the two teachers would always tell me to leave a particular student alone. He couldn’t read at all and barely knew the alphabet. He came from a sad home where his parents called him stupid on a regular basis. And when he came to school, he had teachers that would call out across the room, not to bother with him because he can’t and won’t learn. How sad is that? Of course the child will fail, teachers made it so. I liked what Delay said about if a student didn’t play in tune, it was because they hadn’t learned how. She taught her students and loved them. I wonder how much difference there would be if the 1st grade teachers followed Delay’s pholosophy?

    And finally, teachers should learn every day just like students. Every day brings something new, something different. It is important for teachers to seize that moment, internalize it and learn from it. That is how teachers adapt their teachings to fit the needs of their students. Students will learn more in an atmosphere where everyone is learning new things including the teacher!

    Posted by Sarah Murray | June 12, 2013, 12:40 am
  26. I think the overall message of the passage, that teachers should be learning and growing along with their students, is very true. Great teachers should always be striving to learn more and be better. As a first year teacher, I think it is imperative to constantly be trying to improve my classroom management skills. It is something you hear about so many new teachers struggling with, and I hope to learn from other teachers and continually be improving in that area. I also want to improve on learning how to properly and effectively differentiate lessons. I want to get better at learning exactly what various students’ need, and cater to them. These commitments will hopefully affect my students by giving them a better environment to learn in, and offering them lessons and activities that all students can enjoy and learn from. When students see that teachers are learning new things and working hard, it offers them a role model. They know that the teacher is not expecting more from their students than they are expecting of themself! Students pick up on things like this, and it helps the students respect the teacher, and create a positive classroom environment. My hope is that when I look back on my first year of teaching I see a tremendous amount of growth, and I continue to learn and achieve more in my many years of teaching ahead!

    Posted by Jenny Stuckenschneider | June 12, 2013, 6:13 pm
  27. I loved DeLay’s reason for spending a great deal of her time on a Juilliard student who showed little promise: “I think she has something special…It’s in her person. There is some kind of dignity.” The article explains that if DeLay could get her to put this quality into her playing, the student would be a “special violinist.”

    The idea of finding what is special or unique in each student and bringing it forward through hard work fascinates me. And I am wondering:

    How will I transform my students’ challenges with behavior, learning, etc into strengths? Will I be able to bring beauty and joy into my classroom on a daily basis, even under extreme pressure and stress? How can I simultaneously celebrate and challenge my students while also addressing their many and various needs?

    Posted by Anne Walzel | June 13, 2013, 9:44 pm
  28. After reading the excerpt “Mindset”, I decided to reflect on my own experiences that brought me to the place I am at today. Ms. Cazanas, my middle school math teacher, immediately popped into my head. I started thinking about her in relation to the stories of Collins, Esquith, and DeLay. She had taught me to love math, think for myself, and to work hard at fundamentals in order to succeed. Three characteristics stood out to me when correlating all four teachers. In my undergraduate leadership program, we were presented a model of an effective leader. The model’s three traits consisted of awareness, ability and commitment. All of these growth minded teachers had awareness of themselves, others and the situation at hand. In order to have self-awareness, they realized the importance of continuous learning. Marva Collins stated, “I don’t know everything. I can learn all the time.” These teachers have awareness of others and continue to strive in order to help their students grow. They ensure that students are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. Esquith stated, “…Someone has to tell the children if they are behind, and lay out a plan of attack to help them catch up.” I firmly believe in having open and honest inquiry with your students about their struggles. If you have a trusting relationship, they will take this as constructive feedback in order to improve their skills. On the contrary, I also believe in sharing with students about their hidden strengths. Miss Delay demonstrated this when telling her student “Now that is a beautiful sound” which enabled her student to gain confidence in her talents. The second trait these teachers demonstrated was ability. This may sound obvious but in my eyes it’s a trait that will be vital in my first year of teaching. These teachers all had the ability to make decisions that set high standards for their students, created a nurturing atmosphere, and challenging their students to the core. Collins stated, “Success is not coming to you, you must come for it.” I really enjoyed this quote because I related to how I feel being a first year teacher. I want to have the ability to provide my students with atmospheres that these three teachers created. In order to have this I must be dedicate myself to learning. Commitment is the third trait demonstrated by these teachers. They all felt a personal commitment or sense of duty that their students are successful. I am committed to my students that they learn to their highest potential in my classroom. James Baldwin once stated, “Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” This article has given me a lot of motivation to the type of teacher I am determined to be for my students.

    Posted by Katie Hendrickson | June 14, 2013, 12:04 pm
  29. As humans, we tend to think about what we can’t do more than what we can. This is tuaght to us as a kid, and never really leaves us. We only have the limits that we think we have, and I hope to be the type of teacher that tells them they can do anything. Students will reach the expectations we have for them, good or bad.

    Posted by D'Arby Kondratowicz | June 14, 2013, 2:04 pm
  30. Next year, I will be teaching high school math. As a math teacher I feel that it is very important to equip my students with critical thinking and problem solving skills. One area that I am committed to improving is incorporating this bigger picture into my classroom. I believe that I will always have to work to find a way to incorporate critical thinking and problem solving skills into my lesson plans. At the end of the year, I want my students to leave my classroom with more skills than simply plugging information into a formula. I believe that this committment will help my students throughout their lifetime. They will have the necessary problem solving skills to handle real world situtations. In addition, I feel that this will open up many doors for my students.

    Posted by Kim Woodsum | June 15, 2013, 10:46 pm
  31. As a brand new teacher, the idea of spreading knowledge to growing, young minds is somewhat terrifying. But this excerpt makes me want to change how I am approaching this new adventure in my life. Instead of being afraid of failure, I should be excited to learn. I should be more open-minded about my abilities to educate my future students. I was taught in a private institution and made pretty good grades by attending class, paying attention, and trying to participate in class as much as possible. I want my students to feel comfortable participating, as well as eager to be in the classroom. This means that as a teacher, I will have to find a way to motivate each student individually to WANT to learn. This article is simply inspiring.

    Posted by Emily Burke | June 17, 2013, 2:33 pm
  32. As a new math teacher, I thought this exerpt was very informative and motivational, if not honest. There was a lot of discussion about energy, and how much energy, time, and planning it takes on the teacher’s part to be able to get the most out of the students. I really appreciated how most successful teachers love learning about the process of learning, how they can awaken even their most difficult students through finding out what makes them tick, and how they can ensure their students will want to continue learning.

    Posted by Jon Denning | June 18, 2013, 12:39 pm
  33. I am a brand new classroom teacher, but I have been teaching using the outdoors as my classroom for many years. I am terrified to be confined by the four walls of the classroom because I’m afraid that my opportunities to use experiential education as a tool for academic growth will be limited, and that was my biggest asset to teaching. I am committed to learning how to teach my students in the classroom and learning the tools to use to teach them effectively. I love the attitude of the teachers in the article, and I feel like this positivity and ‘never give up on a student’ outlook is essential to tackling this giant task that we call teaching. I look forward to my continued education as I lead students in theirs.

    Posted by Jenny Stiles | June 18, 2013, 1:23 pm
  34. I think while there will be plenty of challenges for fellow first year teachers, one unique advantage that we have entering into the classroom environment is that we are poised to be growth minded. Knowing that the next years ahead will be filled with much learning and growing of our own, we can understand on a personal level what it means to set high standards, and have high standards set for us, and work hard to achieve them.

    Most of the descriptions of fixed-minded teachers characterize someone who is set in their ways and views learning as unidirectional, rather than a mutually educational experience. Fortunately, for first year teachers, we have no “ways” to be set in, and I could hardly imagine a person who said that they didn’t learn as much, if not more, from their students and their support systems in their first year as their students themselves. While I am entering into this year anticipating, and preparing as best as I can, for the many obstacles I will face, these are also opportunities for growth. If we internalize the message of this passage and seek to apply its basic principles, we can take an attitude we already have towards our own experiences and extend it into the classroom.

    Posted by Rachel Vogel | June 18, 2013, 2:36 pm
  35. Reading an excerpt about growth-minded teachers from Mindset by Dr Dweck was very inspiring. I enjoyed reading the case studies describing what growth-minded teacher do and do not do. As a future YES Prep educator, I will also not lower my standards when teaching. I will expect the best from each of my students. I will believe that each of my students, regardless of their backgrounds, has the potential to succeed. I will not judge them and falsely label them. I will be both a nurturing and caring teacher. I especially like the statement presented in the reading that growth-minded teachers are also those teachers who are still learning themselves and enjoy learning new things.

    After reading the passage, I was reminded of a teacher I had the pleasure of observing during a lesson plan where I currently work. One of her students asked her what the definition was for one of the words in the reading assignment. The teacher did not know the answer and the entire class gasped with surprised. She replied, “I am not embarrassed to tell you that I don’t know the definition to that word. Do not expect your teachers to have all the answers and know everything. Like you, we are also learning new things every day. So please, don’t any of you also be embarrassed or afraid to tell me you don’t know the answer. We (you and I) are all here to learn. Now let’s all take out our dictionaries so we can learn together what that word means.” I was very impressed by this teacher on how she handled the situation. She was a great example of a growth-minded teacher.

    Posted by Mike Angel | June 18, 2013, 9:06 pm
  36. The excerpt echoes what I had learned in my own experience with children. I had worked with delinquent/special needs children at a treatment center, and we were a final stop for them after they had been kicked out from various schools. We were very strict with them, and I initially disliked it because my mentality was, “they are just children! Of course they are going to be disruptive or very excited or sometimes bratty!” I realized that I was part of the problem. Even though I really liked the children and was trying to do what was best for them, I originally was not challenging them. I cared more about the child trusting me and probably overpraised the child for doing even the slightest positive action. I was then told by my supervisor to follow the regimen exactly — that it works. So I began to be a lot stricter and expected a lot more from my kids, and they bloomed. Some were taken off medication, some were expected to be able to rejoin public school soon, all had better attention in classes and could sit down in their chair and behaved. And the kids were happy. That was the best feeling ever. Knowing that not only were the kids having a good time and I didn’t feel “mean”, but they were learning and improving. So that year I learned a lot, which was the biggest takeaway from the excerpt — teachers need to learn, too. To constantly refine their craft, to individualize for their students, and to be just as eager to learn the subject as they want their children to be.

    What really hit me was what the excerpt said about children “not wanting to learn.” I completely agree with what the author had said — there is no such thing as a child not wanting to learn, but not knowing how. A thing I would add to that is not only the child not knowing how, but feeling afraid to make mistakes. The children I had worked with had been kicked out of daycares and schools and various other events in their lives because of their behavior. Because teachers had been told the kid would be trouble and lo and behold, they were. In our program, we were not allowed to refuse a child or just let them go. We were there to make changes. So there was this “never give up!” attitude. I think originally the kids were really disruptive, thinking “why bother to behave? If I try, at some point I will mess up, and the teacher will be mad and I will be sent away.” But we wouldn’t send them away. We wouldn’t scream at them. We’d put them in time out and discuss the behavior, let the child cool down, and then they’d be back in the group and we’d engage them more. There wasn’t that air of “you’re a bad kid and the teacher is still mad at you.”

    I thought that my treatment program was something special, but it is great to see so many other teachers applying the same philosophy. I really loved this excerpt.

    Posted by Alondra Kristine Torres Aponte | June 19, 2013, 10:51 am
  37. What struck a chord with me was this quote by a teacher at Julliard from the Mindset excerpt -“Oh this child wasn’t born with it, so I won’t waste my time.” Too many teachers hide their own lack of ability behind that statement. I want to be the kind of teacher that if I don’t know the answer to a question a child asks, I will look it up and give them the correct answer. Children and students learn by example – if I am a humble leader, they will learn humility.

    A good family friend is a new doctor and he specializes in facial plastics and ophthalmology. We were discussing the incredible responsibility and burden on doctors these days. He knows that whatever he tells his patients, they will believe. If he doesn’t know the answer to a medical question, he never claims to know the answer. He says that so many of his colleagues do not do the same – they are too proud to accept lack of knowledge. This is what it is like being a teacher – it is a huge responsibility because these kids are believing every single word that I say. A good teacher is one who learns along with their students – they don’t claim to know everything!

    I am committed to being a teacher who is a lifelong learner. I want to learn from my students and tailor my lesson plans so that my students are challenged, encouraged, and strengthened.

    Posted by Melissa Russo | June 19, 2013, 2:53 pm
  38. As a recent college grad it still boggles my mind that I will now be the teacher rather than the student. That has been a pretty intimidating thought because I honestly did kind of have the idea that I’m supposed to have things figured out and be “a finished product”. In reality, a person should never stop trying to actively learn new things, even as they are teaching others.

    Posted by Janna Lauer | June 19, 2013, 3:30 pm
  39. What struck a chord with me was this quote by a teacher at Julliard from the Mindset excerpt -“Oh this child wasn’t born with it, so I won’t waste my time.” Too many teachers hide their own lack of ability behind that statement. I want to be the kind of teacher that if I don’t know the answer to a question a child asks, I will look it up and give them the correct answer. Children and students learn by example – if I am a humble leader, they will learn humility.

    A good family friend is a new doctor and he specializes in facial plastics and ophthalmology. We were discussing the incredible responsibility and burden on doctors these days. He knows that whatever he tells his patients, they will believe. If he doesn’t know the answer to a medical question, he never claims to know the answer. He says that so many of his colleagues do not do the same – they are too proud to accept lack of knowledge. This is what it is like being a teacher – it is a huge responsibility because these kids are believing every single word that I say. A good teacher is one who learns along with their students – they don’t claim to know everything!

    I am committed to being a teacher who is a lifelong learner. I want to learn from my students and tailor my lesson plans so that my students are challenged, encouraged, excited, and strengthened.

    Posted by Melissa Russo | June 19, 2013, 5:37 pm
  40. This excerpt from “Mindset” applies to several different aspects of my own experience and the experiences I’ve had with students. From the comments others have left, I can see I’m not alone. For one thing, praise comes too easily for a lot of kids. There are baseball teams which give every child a trophy, and teachers who feel obligated to give every child a reward. With my own children, I’ve gone round and round with teachers who are reluctant to come out and say what needs to be said in order to improve performance or behavior. There can be so much beating around the bush that a child (or parent) is left thinking that everything is ok because fear of giving offense or reluctance to mitigate a problem leads the teacher to shroud their constructive feedback so heavily it begins to look like praise. If we aren’t candid with our students and their parents about how they’re doing and where they need to focus their energy, how will they get where we say we want them to go?

    The idea of talent is, as I see it, another huge problem. Ms. DeLay at Juilliard took some exception to this idea in music – a world in which “talent” is an element nearly everyone would recognize as a key component. But where do we draw the line between talent and hard work? Wallace Stegner wasn’t born with “Angle of Repose” fully hatched in his brain; he worked hard, pulled his hair, and shed the same tears anyone would be likely to shed. Anyone can have idea, but it is work that brings an idea to fruition. At some point, sharply honed skills coupled with keen interest begin to look like talent, but they are still just the manifestations of commitment and labor. I’m teaching 9th grade English, and I have no illusions about whether students are born with the ability to evaluate works of literature or create works of their own. Those, too, are skills that are developed; those, too, are skills which can begin to look like talent.

    This passage also engages the notion of high expectations for low-performing students – an idea all of us need to embrace if we expect to do right by the kids that walk through our doors. Too often, teachers and schools blame students for low performance. Why? Well, because it is so much easier than blaming ourselves. If we accept responsibility for our students’ performance (obviously with the caveat that they, too, are responsible for their own achievements), then we are obligated to look critically at our own performance. Are we working hard enough? Are we learning enough of our own? Are we encouraging and discouraging the right things? Are we taking our own medicine? These are difficult questions, and the easy route is to refuse to ask them. We can’t take the easy route. Not only does it not lead to successful students, it will not lead to our own fulfillment and continued engagement.

    Posted by Erica Lapen | June 20, 2013, 11:17 am
  41. The excerpt from Mindset was very inspiring. Even though this will be my first year as a teacher, I have always carried the mindset that the students are not the only ones learning. We as teachers learn everyday when we come to school. Our passion is to teach our students so that they can grow and be the best that they can be, but they teach us everyday also. They show us how to adjust and deal with the daily trials that are thrown our way. I have learned that from just being a substitute teacher my last semester of college and also leading numerous basketball camps. Just reading this excerpt I know I would have loved Miss DeLay if she was my teacher. The way she did whatever it took to make her students succeed was awesome. She didn’t go in with the mindset of categorizing her students, she believed everyone can and will learn. DeLay’s encounter with the student(Gary) that refused to learn was an inspiring point. The fact that she eventually got him to learn by not giving up on him and explaining to him in a few short words what his life would be like if he didn’t learn was great. We as teachers must remind our students of their capabilities. Some students will not believe in themselves until they know they have someone that believes in them. My conclusion to this excerpt is to know what and who you are dealing with so that you will know the correct approach. Every student can not be approached in the same way. Believe in all your students no matter what, because if the students can’t count on us as great motivators to teach them who can they count on.

    Posted by Ja'Niqua Kendrix | June 20, 2013, 2:03 pm
  42. When I left high school, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher, but I wasn’t sure of what subject I wanted to teach. Eventually I chose social studies because I realized that through social studies education, I could continue to learn about old and new topics that interest me. I agree with Dweck in that good teachers love learning and continue to learn. How can we expect our students to enjoy learning when we, ourselves, don’t enjoy it?Students learn when given an example, and I believe teachers should be students’ prime examples of what it means to love learning.

    I love the discussion of providing high standards but still providing the guidance and nurture to allow students to reach those standards. It is not only the feeling of accomplishment that benefits our students; rather, it is the feeling of accomplishment of something more challenging and/or interesting than what students could have done before the learning process began.

    Posted by Cara Rosenthal | June 21, 2013, 2:15 pm
  43. I love how Collins was soo comfortable saying “grandma-like” things to her students… for example, “…you children are giving me my heaven on earth.” Although I have a lot of affection for my students, because I feel like one of their safe-keepers, I feel much less comfortable expressing it to middle school students who are my size and sometimes larger. I hope that I can find ways I am comfortable with to express to my students that I am invested in their success not only as students, but as human beings.

    Having worked at a low-performing public inner-city school, I was also intrigued with the section about “Students who don’t care.” Again, I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling a middle-school student “sweetheart,” but I do like how Collins dealt with her student. I particularly like how she said, “I’m not going to give up on you. I’m not going to let you give up on yourself…all that brilliance inside of you will go to waste.” I’ve also instructed students to call their parents in moments of unwillingness several times. I’ve even had instances where students were also rude and defiant with their parents on the same phone call. I wonder if I had said something similar to my students, if I could have been better at inspiring them.

    Posted by Amanda Garza | June 22, 2013, 6:53 pm
  44. As a young adult, I changed my mind a lot about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Only after reading the excerpt on growth mindsets, do I realize that all the careers I considered – marine biologist, painter, writer, teacher – emphasize lifelong learning. I feel so lucky to be in a career that not only enables lifelong learning, but demands it. Any career path requires one to develop different facets of intellect through specialized study or training, but all too often in primary and secondary schools, students are told that how smart they are will determine their course. I fully believe that what anyone can accomplish is solely determined by their fierce determination and the resources they can leverage. As a future 9th grade English teacher at YES Prep Southwest, it is my job to be a resource for my students, a tool they can use to achieve their dreams.

    I am committed to improving my reading speed, frequency, and variety. By engaging with texts that challenge me, I can model lifelong learning for my students. One area of pedagogical improvement I want to target is my ability to integrate multiple literacy skills into every lesson. I want my students to read, write, and interpret every single day in and out of class. I want to inspire students to be independent critical readers, constantly expanding their skills and knowledge base through reading and deciphering difficult texts.

    The Mindset excerpt above all got me interested in exploring what happens to the brain during learning. How specifically does the brain expand to take in and process new knowledge? How does practicing skills affect neurological development? Discussing brain development with my students will provide them concrete knowledge of the benefits of lifelong learning.

    Posted by Sydney Stegall | June 22, 2013, 10:30 pm
  45. An area that I am determined to improve this year is the topic that the excerpt centered around – having high expectations for students. In the books and articles I have read about teaching, the importance of maintaining high expectations is heavily stressed. While I read about high expectations, I consistently imagine how it may be easy to slip: to make an exception and lower you standards to “help” a struggling student, to offer unwarranted praise in an attempt to build a student’s self-esteem, etc. I am trying to make myself aware of errors that I may unconsciously make so I can prevent this in my classroom. I know that if I am successful and build an environment of high expectations, my students can flourish.

    The topic that I enjoyed the most in the excerpt was the focus on teachers love of learning, not teaching. I have always enjoyed learning new things and improving skills. This is something that I am looking forward to this upcoming year. Just as I track student improvement, I am going to find it interesting to track my own improvement. In what areas have I improved – both in pedagogy as well as content? How can I communicate my love of learning to my students in the manner most beneficial to them?

    Posted by Kara Higa | June 24, 2013, 3:43 pm
  46. The common misconception among fixed-minded people is that there would be a negative relationship between standards and student response. As standards are raised, it is often expected that students’ performance and motivation will lower. The insight from the great teachers in this excerpt tells that the opposite is true; there is a positive relationship between standards and student response. As standards are raised, students become more motivated, engaged, and often meet and exceed expectations of their teachers if the teachers set the tone and build a classroom culture in which this phenomenon can occur and guide their students along the processes that set them up for success.

    When I read these types of articles about great teachers and how they motivate students, or rather draw motivation out from students, I wonder, “How do I get there?” Rafe Esquith manifests these mindsets to a degree that his students “hang on to every word of a classic book and beg for more…” (199). I desire the same zeal from my students. I will be a new teacher and have little to no practical experience or trial and error, but this article offers some tips on where to begin as a growth minded teacher.

    An integral part of student success is teacher guidance. A teacher who sets high standard for his/her students but does not teach them how to reach them will likely have multiple behavior and academic issues arise. I love to backpack and can relate this idea to choosing a desired destination on a map while hiking, but not having the basic map knowledge and navigational skills to get there. Even with the necessary skills to read a map, you must also know what to do if you get lost. The excerpt states, “all great teachers teach students how to reach the high standards” (198). Teachers must give students the resources and guidance necessary to get from point A to point B on the path of learning. Informing the students of the hows and whys are just as important, and arguably more so, than the learning objective itself.

    As a new teacher, I know it is going to take time and dedication to each and every one of my students to develop a classroom atmosphere built on growth-minded principles and best practices. However, it is refreshing to hear that not all of my efforts have to be solely focused on my students. It is alright, in fact beneficial to have self-interest. This excerpt suggests that student-only focused classroom will get dull and tiresome – what I imagine would quickly lead to burnout. Learning and personal growth are keys to staying fresh. Two of my strengths according to StrengthsQuest are input and learning, which are characteristics that I think will help me to stay personally motivated and invested in my classroom.

    I am looking forward to the upcoming year and the learning, developing, and growth that will take place within myself personally and professionally. I will strive to practice what great teachers (like those in this excerpt) preach and discover what works best for my students and me.

    Posted by Tiffany Steele | June 24, 2013, 7:28 pm
  47. This was a great excerpt to read! It really stuck out to me to push my students. It can be so much easier to do the bare minimum and have an easy time but that only hurts the students. Providing students with a challenging task is a great thing because they learn how to work through it. This boosts their self confidence and they prove to themselves they can do anything they set their minds to. I also really liked how they talked about how Collins had a nurturing environment in the classroom. This is important to the students success in your classroom, which can be easily forgotten. Creating high expectations in a safe, nurturing environment, I feel, will be positive for myself as a teacher and my students. This is the time to develop the love for learning and coming to school everyday!

    Posted by Emily Harry | June 25, 2013, 12:32 pm
  48. I’ve worked at a magnet arts high school for the past two years in the creative writing program. It is a school much like Julliard, as mentioned in the excerpt. Students have to audition and basically, for the first time in their young lives, tell a group of adults why they believe they are awesome and how their absence at the school would be a detriment for everyone. It is a school with high standards and expectations, but also a relaxed atmosphere, which at times leads the students to become complacent. I’ve worked hard the past two years to give my students high expectations, but I now realize I often had a fixed mindset when it came to students whose creative writing talent wasn’t immediately apparent. During my first year, especially, I worked under the impression, like some of the Julliard teachers highlighted by Dweck, that talent was something you either had or didn’t have, and found myself losing patience with students who struggled with basic concepts of story. This past year, I am guilty of not taking the time to sit down and work one-on-one with students who were quite obviously having trouble with their writing because I was distracted and preoccupied with my own writing projects. By the end of the school year, the chair of the department and I agreed that some students didn’t belong in the program because they simply “didn’t get it.”

    But now, after reading the “Mindset” excerpt, I wonder if we may have jumped too quickly. Yes, talent in some areas is quite obvious for some individuals — not everyone can hold a tune or croon like Mariah Carey, if we’re all being totally honest — but who says that talent cannot be achieved by working hard and changing tactics, as DeLay demonstrated with her students at Julliard? I want to make sure I remember this when I step into the classroom.

    I am going to be out of my element as a full blooded English teacher this fall. I worry, as Danielle mentioned in her comment about mathematics, about my competence with the material. I am a lover of books, but I know I will have to relearn Shakespeare, The Crucible, and other important ELA texts along with my students. I don’t have all the answers like my teachers seemed to when I was in high school. But a quote by Marva Collins in the excerpt struck me: “Sometimes I don’t like other grown-ups very much because they think they know everything. I don’t know everything. I can learn all the time.”

    Yes.

    I don’t want to be afraid to relearn the answers and find multiple answers and interpretations along with my students. I want to be able to admit when I don’t know something to my students and then work with them as we try to find out together. I want to be growth-minded because I think it will not only help me to be a better teacher but a better grown-up (whatever that is).

    Posted by Celeste Prince | June 25, 2013, 2:48 pm
  49. After reading this excerpt (which I loved every bit of I must say) I had an eye opening realization of what is capable of being accomplished by someone willing to put in the work. I loved the examples of why you should never give up on a student, but I really loved the idea that the best teacher is someone who is always learning.

    “There’s an assumption,” he said, “that schools are for students’ learning. Well, why aren’t they as much for teachers’ learning?”

    I believe that as soon as a teacher thinks that they know everything instead of constantly trying to learn more alongside their students, then their classrooms become as dry as they are. We must be striving to stay interested and open-minded in all aspects of the classroom, from understanding the content to understanding the people we are charged to teach.

    Posted by Douglas Waldrep | June 26, 2013, 11:25 pm
  50. I so enjoyed reading this excerpt by Dweck! As someone who has practically no teaching experience coming into the Teaching Excellence program, becoming an educator is a prospect that is both exciting but also daunting. I really identified with the author’s message that a truly great teacher never rests on his/her laurels, but instead always strives to learn something new along with the students. This message was especially comforting to me as a new teacher! I also loved Dweck’s message that a great teacher maintains a classroom environment that is nurturing to students and also challenging. Creating and maintaining a challenging and nurturing classroom environment is one area that I am committed to improving in the upcoming year. I feel, as the author does, that this commitment will help students to do their best and give them even more motivation to reach their goals.

    Another area that I am committed to improving is to be a growth-oriented teacher. This area requires hard work, as it necessitates teachers to find ways to help every student-regardless of former achievement- understand important concepts. Being a growth-oriented teacher will have a huge impact on my students because it will foster a desire for students to understand, learn, and be more confident students!

    Posted by Ellen Stauffer | June 27, 2013, 3:21 pm
  51. I firmly believe that the most successful teachers see themselves as learners just as much as they view their students as learners. We have to have a passion for learning in order to best meet the needs of our students. Education is a constantly changing field and we must adapt with its changes. It is easy to work long hours when you love what you do.

    Another point that resonated with me is the judgement students face from their teachers. Often, this judgement is unintentional, but non-verbally communicated. We sometimes set lower standards for struggling student to make them feel good about themselves or give them the math formula when they are so deeply struggling with the conceptual understanding. However, this is not helpful to the students. As the article mentioned, sometimes the judgement is rooted in the teacher’s insecurity about their own competency as an educator or about a subject matter. I had the opportunity to question preschool teachers about their confidence with teaching math to their students, while working on a research project about “math talk” in relationship to students’ conceptual understanding of math. Almost all of these teachers had a fear of teaching math because they did not feel confident in their own mathematical understanding. They said they were never good at math and not a math person. This is so sad to me because I know that at some point in their educational careers they were either told they were bad at math or experienced judgement from an adult about their mathematical abilities. As a math teacher I want to inspire my students and make the classroom a safe learning environment for participation.

    Connecting to my last point, there is a fantastic book (with videos) about a middle school math classroom in California – “Connecting Mathematical Ideas: Middle School Video Cases to Support Teaching and Learning.” This is the most incredible teaching I have ever seen. Not only are students begging to participate, they are praised for incorrect answers. The teacher views incorrect answers are great learning experiences. In addition to a judgement-free classroom, the teacher never provides the students with an algorithm. The students must work individually, in small groups, and as a class to discover them on their own. The teacher provides the tools for the students to figure it out, without giving them the answer. Not only do the students gain ownership of the algorithms, the learning environment inspires creativity and problem solving. The students are truly interested in learning because it is challenging and engaging. We steal the joy of problem solving from students when we give them the formula. We tell them to just practice using the formulas. Basically we are training kids to be human calculators. Why? We already have calculators that are much quicker than humans. If we are in need of engineers in this country, why waste time training kids to be calculators instead of inspiring them to think outside of the box?

    Posted by Grace Anne Francis | June 27, 2013, 5:26 pm
  52. After reading this excerpt, I realized that it is very easy to be a bad teacher on accident. It is natural to try to judge or gauge your students’ abilities. Teachers may give easier assignments because they deems it appropriate based their own judgement. I don’t want any of my students to feel either bored or overwhelmed. Hopefully, I will be able to motivate my students to work diligently on improving themselves. I would like them to be able to see all that they can accomplish, if they put forth a good effort everyday.

    Posted by Jamal Dawson | June 27, 2013, 5:27 pm
  53. Fixed-mindset teachers, I think, operate under the antiquated idea that they are pitchers brimming with knowledge and it is their task to pour out their knowledge into the cups, the students. That is, fixed-mindset teachers, as Dweck writes, believe their task is to impart knowledge and that students’ task is to receive it. But a growth-minded teacher values the process of learning – how the pitcher becomes full — not just the content or level in the pitcher.
    To enable growth in a classroom, Dweck notes that trust is important. For me, that means feeling able to take risks. In a class I took years ago, for example, our teacher told us that she wanted every student to try something new in our writing. We would probably mess it up or not do it perfect, she said, but that was OK. Our goal was to take that risk and expand our boundaries. We tried. We failed. She coached us up on those failures and we tried them again. Eventually, we all expanded our writing abilities because we had learned new skills through a culture of trust and respect. We were allowed to take risks – we were allowed to try and to fail – but we were not allowed to be satisfied with that failure, to be content with the attempt as sufficient. What that teacher asked of us was hard work: to try, to fail, then to try again. With each step we took she raised the standards of what was acceptable along with us so that there was no going backward, no settling. That experience has lingered with me for years, a telltale sign of that teacher’s impact in my education and a proxy for all that successful teachers demand from their students.

    Posted by Brennan Peel | June 27, 2013, 10:32 pm
  54. I really enjoyed reading this excerpt on the power of growth minded teachers. I believe that one of the most important attributes for an excellent teacher is the ability to be flexible in the classroom. This idea aligns well with the idea of “growth minded teachers”. I am eager to enter the classroom and want to maintain an attitude in which I am flexible to the needs of each individual student and am focusing on growth. I specifically enjoyed how the excerpt illustrated the importance for teachers to genuinely care for their students and create a safe environment in the classroom, as well as maintaining high standards that push the students. I agree that when students are labeled or do not feel “smart”, they can give up on school. By providing a safe atmosphere for learning and challenging students, they can achieve more than they ever believed possible. In addition, I was encouraged by the comment on the importance of teachers to be “fascinated with the process of learning”. I really enjoy observing the learning process and watching people make progress over time.

    Posted by Rebecca Kott | June 28, 2013, 11:50 am
  55. The way I believe that all students have the potential to be successful, I also believe that all teachers have the ability to be great teachers. By accepting this job, we are ready to be challenged and as a result improve ourselves. We should always strive to push ourselves a little bit more than we think we can. By doing this we are also pushing students a little further and challenging them to also push themselves. Our goal should always be to grow and improve.
    When we step foot in the classroom it is essential that we get to know each of our students as individuals. It is important that we show them how important and valuable they are to us, and how much we believe in them and their ability. Communication is always key, and the great teachers of the past seem to have a good grasp on this concept. Students should know why we are in the classroom, why we care so much about their education, and maybe then we can help them become passionate about learning.
    We should strive to build a relationship of trust and respect. If we are successful, students will find it much easier to learn and ask for help, and in return we will learn what is expected of us from our students.

    Posted by Cynthia Luna | June 28, 2013, 6:40 pm
  56. This excerpt was nothing short of expiring. Setting high standards and providing the tools to reach those standards should be our default mentality, but sadly it is not. What I took away most from this reading was that the solution starts with the teacher. It is the teacher’s passion to learn, to teach and to grow that ignites the atmosphere of true education. It is in this passion, that I as a teacher, can sustain my energy and enthusiasm needed to “teach em up”. It seems like it should be a given that teaching what I find interesting is a key component in my being affective. If I’m interested, I will be interesting, and kids will learn from my lead.

    I also agree with providing an atmosphere of acceptance as a way to reach our kids. Kids are so intuitive, they can sense how they are being received by others. As adults, we learn to ignore this intuition, or just don’t care. Understanding where our kids are coming from, what may be going on for them in their lives, and what they are passionate about, and accepting them for who they are and exactly where they are in life will allow trust to be built. With trust, they will follow when I, as their teacher, tell them where we are trying to get to. What our goals are. Why I care. They will believe me and buy into the process.

    Posted by Travis Martin | June 28, 2013, 9:07 pm
  57. As educators we do need to keep in mind that every being is capable of learning regardless the situation. Some students may need to be taught that they can do it and how to do it. In order to do that the teacher must be willing to adopt the “growth mind”. No one said teaching is easy, and with struggling students it will be even harder but they do say that anything is possible. A student will put their all into learning if they have someone who is willing to push them to their highest potential. As educators our job to provide the tools and support needed in order to achieve greatness. When a student reaches a set goal the feeling is amazing, especially if it was a tough high standard one. That is why I love teaching because I too get the feeling when seeing a student smiling because they have mastered their goal.

    Posted by Mayra Medina | June 29, 2013, 11:11 am
  58. I love this excerpt and how it shows the value of a growth mindset. Taking a positive outlook on life and about our students can help them so much because they can feel it if someone believes in them. I had a few key figures in my life believe in me, and I feel that has made all the difference. Each person/student is unique and brings special talents to the table, and it is our job as teachers to bring those talents out and guide the students as they refine and polish them. I definitely feel that all students can achieve and learn at a high level. This excerpt has provided me with lots of great ideas as to how I should go about encouraging my class to achieve.
    Likewise, I agree that teachers must love learning. If a teacher loves learning, it can be contagious. Also, having a love for learning will create a positive atmosphere in the class and prevent teacher burn-out or anything of that nature. Show your students you care and that learning means so much to you and they will rise to the challenge.

    Posted by Brad Petersen | June 29, 2013, 11:24 am
  59. I really enjoyed reading this excerpt, especially after my first week of teaching. After my first week I set a personal goal for myself for the rest of Institute and that was to “always look for room to improve”. I realized that my lesson plans were not the best, even horrible. I realized that standing up in the front of the class and “teaching” my students was not going to be good enough. I realized that I need to trust my students and give them more interactive activities. Finally I realized that I was going to learn just as much if not more than my students. Reading this excerpt from “Mindsets” just reiterated my goals for this summer and beyond. Being a teacher is not about teaching it is about learning. Even if I have read “Romeo and Juliet” seven times and think I have heard all of the questions and answers, a student or class could bring a whole new perspective or make a new connection that I have never seen or heard before. This goes for not just reading, but writing, science, math, social studies, everything. Each student has their own perspective and experience and as a teacher it is my job to create an environment where all students feel valued and safe to share those perspectives and experience for a better and collaborative learning environment.

    Posted by Aryn Rapp | June 29, 2013, 11:52 am
  60. This is a great excerpt, but I kept wondering how exactly these teachers achieved the wonderful things they did. I feel like I have a growth mindset and like I believe in and expect the world of my students, but having never done this before I am not sure just how to practically apply the growth mindset. I’ve experienced classes where teachers could motive us, and I felt like I wanted to improve and grow in that class, but I’ve never been able to isolate just what it is that allows a teacher to do that. I’m also intimidated by my memories of high school. If it is possible for all teachers to achieve the growth mindset, and to really inspire their students, then why don’t they? I’m looking forward to induction and I’m hoping that some of this can be demystified for me in a few weeks.

    Posted by Alex Perry | June 29, 2013, 8:52 pm
  61. The excerpt from Mindset certainly inspired me, though it did not surprise me in the least. Teaching is not standing in front of a classroom, talking, and expecting students to magically become smarter. If it were that easy, then maybe teachers would deserve the low rate of pay far too many of them put up with. In fact, teaching, is one of the most challenging and valuable jobs in the world, and this excerpt makes that clear through its three examples. The great teachers mentioned work hard. They constantly innovate new ways to explain new concepts, focus on the entire class and each individual student at the same time, and, most importantly, never lend any slack to their high expectations for all of their students. I expect nothing less from myself.

    I commit to improving my patience when working with students who do not grasp concepts as quickly as others. I commit to constantly evaluating my mindset, strategies, techniques, and goals as a teacher so that I am learning from my students and my classroom as much as my students learn from me. Through these commitments, I will improve my ability to educate students every minute of every day I spend in a classroom. I may never become a perfect teacher, but my philosophy for life has always been that if I choose to do something, then I am going to do it as well as I possibly can. Looking forward to Houston!

    Posted by Annie Tomlinson | June 29, 2013, 9:19 pm
  62. The greatest thing I took from this excerpt was being open with students. We need to do more than build a good rapport with our classes. It is important to let them know, individually, what they need to do to succeed, and it isn’t the time for sugar-coating the explanation. Creating an honest environment allows students to shine in their education and grow immensely. At the end of a semester, I don’t want to praise a student for going up half a grade letter when they really needed a much high score. I want to explore the later opportunities that this success will make possible, and challenge students to reach their goals and create new ones with me.

    I love the idea of holding students accountable for the goals we set together. The reading mentioned that students and teachers must ‘give what they get.’ For me, this means that I will spend just as much time as my student working toward their academic growth, and being constantly aware of the student’s mastery. I want my student to be comfortable with telling me if any outside factors are encroaching on their school time, and we will work together to map out a plan for their school responsibilities. If a student is goofing off when we have free time to work on something together, they will be asked to evaluate the way they are using our time. It is just as important to make students know that our time together exists because they have the ability to complete school work, and I will help them build the skills that are necessary.

    Posted by Pary Huckleberry | June 30, 2013, 12:35 am
  63. This excerpt points out some things that simply make alot of sense. Great teachers have to be great learners. They in a sense pass on their passion to learn through creating a mutual interest in education. I am personally committed to both learning how to learn better as well as how to teach better. I believe if I can truly learn how my students learn best, not only will they be motivated by the growth of their minds but I will be as well. Instead of being the fixed-minded source of all knowledge in the classroom, I will be leading an expedition through the acquisition of greater knowledge and multifaceted growth (ranging from academic to social growth and beyond). In the classroom there are so many lessons to teach, but as the except points out, equally exciting are the lessons to be learned. I am committed to improving my ability to impart a vision to student about the benefits of learning and the opportunities a growth mindset enables for both the present and the future.

    Posted by Aaron Randolph | June 30, 2013, 3:33 pm
  64. This excerpt pumped me up and gave me a sense of hope. The solution is simple: both teachers and students must be on the same page and have their learning hats on at all times. This combination along with trust is what every teacher must strive for. If the student sees that the teacher really cares, then that student more than likely will try harder. Trust development is difficult but not impossible, and such development is mostly the responsibility of the teacher, since he or she is the more experienced individual. Once students stop pointing out just that one teacher that impacted their lives in their K-12 journeys, we can say that our education system is up to speed with the ideal scenarios portrayed in this excerpt.

    Posted by Willie Castrejon | July 1, 2013, 12:29 pm
  65. When I enter the classroom full of kids on the first day, I want to let them know of something my Dad told me when I was child. In regards to muscular strength, he said that there is no magic wand that will make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In order to get that strong, it’s required that you put in hours of work every week. That idea applies to everything though. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb on the first try, it took hundreds of tries to get the light bulb to be commercially successful. Abraham Lincoln failed on several times in his life, including failing to run for the Senate twice.

    In teaching, I want my students to understand that success won’t be easy, bu that it is still worth pursuing. Likewise, I hope I can learn how to improve my teaching as I continue on in the school year. I realize it won’t be easy, and that I won’t be able to charm all kids on the first day to cooperate, but have a passion for improving my community. I know these students can succeed and I will work tirelessly to help them reach that success!

    Posted by Mario A. Gonzalez | July 1, 2013, 3:14 pm
  66. I strongly believe in the excerpt’s message because every single great thing I have ever done has stemmed from believing in myself. I think having a growth mindset is the first step, and if I can instill this in my students, I know I will be on the right track for their success.

    I have been learning and teaching foreign languages for some time, and students have told me many times that they just don’t believe they have the right kind of innate skills, and that at best they hope to become somewhat proficient in a foreign language. I think the right kind of mindset can help me and my students overcome this mental block. The various descriptions of successful teachers in the excerpt make me believe even more that there is always a solution for any challenge.

    One of the reasons I applied to teach at YES Prep was because the results achieved by the students prove that the right opportunities will result in every student’s success. The excerpt motivates me to always ask myself what I can do for my students so they can reach the high expectations I will have thanks to a growth mindset.

    On page 199, Professor Dweck affirms: “Growth-minded teachers tell students the truth and then give them the tools to close the gap.” I think this is crucial because it helps me understand my role as a Growth-Minded teacher. The best thing I can do for my students is equip them by believing in them so that their potential is not limited, and them be with them and coach them as they work hard to achieve high expectations.

    Utilizing this mindset will be a great experience for me personally, and I hope to learn much from it. For instance, even though I have never thought of doing this in the past, I am looking forward to helping students feel like they belong in school so that they will not sabotage their own learning.

    Posted by Carlos Rodriguez Quiroga | July 1, 2013, 3:23 pm
  67. This excerpt really resonated with me. I think that it sets a great standard for the commitment to students that I should strive for as a first time teacher with students. A line from the selection that really stood out to me was “Nothing is left to chance. . . .It takes enormous energy, but to be in a room with young minds who hang on every word of a classic book and beg for more if I stop makes all the planning worthwhile.” I will be teaching English, and as I reflect on my English teachers that instilled a love for literature, its interpretation and its application to our own lives, I was struck with the effectiveness of these words. The teachers that impacted me most were those that planned lessons so meticulously that they made every twist and turn in my class an enriching experience. They were never caught off guard, and they made learning complicated texts and concepts so easy. Although you can’t know exactly how the student side of a lesson is going to go, I think that it is very important to look at a lesson from many different perspectives and never limit your own understanding. This made me understand that a good teacher is someone who is not tied to the formality and structure of a lesson but rather one who sees the potential in a lesson’s flexibility.

    This excerpt also gave me a lot of hope for going in to the school year as a new teacher. It reinforced my understanding that teaching is much more than just knowing your material inside and out. It gave me confidence that as I develop lessons for the first time, my effectiveness will not be limited to what I have on paper and I will be aided by my deep desire to see each child to succeed by meeting them where they are.

    Posted by Jamie Reyes | July 1, 2013, 5:37 pm
  68. I aim to develop my students’ ability to believe in themselves and each other. I think that is necessary for students to understand that they deserve an education. In order to achieve this, students need support from their instructors. I’ll be teaching chemistry and many students may be hesitant when approaching science. It is necessary to know that, yes chemistry can be difficult, but by no means is it impossible. Students need to recognize that the concepts they will learn are applicable to many instances beyond the classroom. By bridging academic concepts with everyday challenges, students can put what they’ve learned to use and approach problems in different manners. I hope that this would excite and instill students with a desire to learn.

    Posted by Enrique Vazquez | July 1, 2013, 8:44 pm
  69. I total y agree with this article, because I teach 1st and 2nd level for Spanish is a totally different language than the English, and I very proud with my new kids that in their houses don’t have any contact with this language and they start to learn, I receive too much support in the school to I working, my coach and the principal to , they constantly give to me feedback with all the implements skills and lesson to I teach. I love my job, and I believed in the Growth – minded, because I used this mentality in my class with my 5th and 6th graders students last school year; and this school year I will use with 7th and 8th graders too.

    Posted by Karina Quezada | July 1, 2013, 11:37 pm
  70. This article gives me a renewed motivation and worry that I won’t set the bar high enough for my students. The mindset should be you are continuing to learn along with your students, especially since no two people are exactly the same. I am glad that the excerpt did touch upon how much ground work and foundation is needed for students to meet those goals. I hope I can harness this motivation from these readings and make it last through the entire school year.

    Posted by Alanna Allen | July 2, 2013, 8:50 am
  71. This excerpt was a challenge to teachers to never become complacent. Agreeing with this article means that there are no cop-outs or shortcuts when it comes to teaching. Dorothy DeLay summed it up so well when she said, “I think it’s too easy for a teacher to say, ‘Oh this child wasn’t born with it, so I won’t waste my time.’ Too many teachers hid their own lack of ability behind that statement.” As a new teacher, it’s important to start out my teaching career with the right mindset. I appreciated this article because it was both informative and challenging. It gave me solid information about successful teachers and their methods and also some straight-forward advice about the work teachers should be putting into their classrooms.

    Posted by Meridith Dyer | July 2, 2013, 9:58 am
  72. I am absolutely committed to being a growth-minded educator next year. I feel so privileged to be part of an organization that allows for ongoing professional growth to help me learn the most current and successful classroom management and lesson planning techniques. I am committed to applying any and all advice my TE coach has for me as well as educating myself on best classroom practices.

    This excerpt inspired me to keep an open mind and set high expectations for all students, regardless of their behavior or performance on coursework. By setting the bar high, providing them with support, and not giving up on them, I am certain that my students can be successful. Mr. Esquith’s assertion that he is not smarter than his second graders but that he is just more experienced demonstrates his caring and belief in all of his students. He believes that all of his students can grow and, in time, learn as much as he has. It levels the playing field for students to realize that their teachers’ lifelong learning has allowed them to be successful, as they can be too, and they are not smarter or better than them.

    The idea that teachers must cultivate a strict and disciplined atmosphere that is at the same time loving also resonated with me. I am completely committed to creating a safe, interesting, and fun classroom that is also disciplined. This discipline will also instill in the students the necessity of their hard work and allow them to take their coursework seriously.

    Posted by Cheryl Holmes | July 2, 2013, 11:25 am
  73. I really like this article and how the teachers went above and beyond for their students, helping them to achieve what they believed impossible. It’s so true that teachers much love learning. You have to continuously educate yourself to give the best education possible for these students. I’m really excited about getting into the classroom to help make a difference in my students lives and help them to become the best possible person that they can become!

    Posted by Michael Perez | July 2, 2013, 1:14 pm
  74. What makes a great teacher- is an invested teacher. That is what I took away from this excerpt. All three teachers had the same mindset, they wanted to learn along with their students, not just teach them. These teachers understood the conept of the “growth-minded” technique. They lavished on seeing their students growth from day one. Also, “Challenge and Nurture,” is another technique I saw within these three indviduals. When you as an educater set high standards for your students, I don’t think you are setting up the “lower” students for failure. You are challenging them to become better and if they don’t think you have “pre-labeled” them before hand, they won’t sabotage you. More importantly, they won’t sabotage themselves.

    Posted by Maida Camacho | July 2, 2013, 2:53 pm
  75. What does it mean to be a great teacher? This is a question that many of us ask ourselves, and many others will ask of us in the future. As the author of this excerpt points out, being a great teacher doesn’t mean you have to love all of your students. She also points out that it doesn’t mean repeatedly telling the students how great they are or how smart they are. In fact, that could have a detrimental effect. What it means to be a great teacher, in Dweck’s point of view, is to care about the growth of your students, and to stop at nothing in order for them to achieve that growth.

    As teachers, it is our job to provide a safe environment where our students can learn every day. Safety doesn’t just mean a respite from violence and abuse, it means the safety to fail, the safety to know that a student can fail over and over and still find a patient teacher waiting to help them. This excerpt reminded me how important it is to focus on what my students CAN do, not what they are already good at. Setting the bar high pushes students towards their goals, and it is my job to help them reach those goals any way possible.

    Posted by David Bullis | July 2, 2013, 4:14 pm
  76. “The great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are fascinated with the process of learning” (194).

    What I liked most about the excerpt by Carol Dweck because it emphasized how students are the products of their teachers. If a student has not mastered reading comprehension or can’t play the violin, it is not because he or she does not have the talent or the ability, but because he/she has not been taught properly. The student is not at fault; the teacher is for not focusing on the needs of all students, especially those who are falling behind. This chapter is very powerful because it focuses on the importance of maintaining high standards in a classroom. Teachers must keep high standards for all students, not just the overachievers, in order to create a positive atmosphere of constant learning. In the classroom, teachers are learning just as much as our students are.

    I will be entering YES Prep as a first-year French teacher. However, the French program at YES is unique and the teaching style very new to me. Rather than teaching grammar from a textbook, we will teach French through reading and storytelling. I am already quite nervous about teaching a foreign language in this way, but after reading this excerpt, I realized that I will be learning just as much as my students. By making it known to my students that I am learning along with them, I hope to form a relationship of trust and dependency. Dweck stated that teachers are not smarter than their students; just more experienced. We must make that known to our students.

    Posted by Nicole Maarraoui | July 2, 2013, 5:14 pm
  77. I will need to make the biggest commitment to improving my knowledge of grammar. As a 9th grade English teacher, I will be expected to not only model grammatically correct writing and to correct any mistakes that occur in the writing of my students but also to adequately explain applicable rules. This is a daunting task for me. But, after reading this article, I really look forward to growing as a writer alongside my students. I absolutely agree that the best teachers are lifelong learners – they are able to stay passionate and engaged with their subjects (even if they’re teaching the same books, math skills, grammar lessons etc.) when they keep an element of discovery alive. I am very excited to begin; the discovery is going to be infinite! If I succeed at modeling this attitude towards grammar, I believe that my students will not be as fearful toward grammar as I was once was…and somewhat continue to be. I hope to make the skills accesible for all of my students. I think the best first step to doing this is figuring out how to master the skills myself.

    Posted by Lena Silva | July 3, 2013, 11:33 am
  78. “Growth-minded teachers tell students the truth and then give them the tools for closing the gap.”

    This quote stands out to me because it underscores the idea that good teaching requires a teacher who wants each and every one of their students to succeed, and moreover realizes that in order for that to happen, the teacher and students need to figure out where the gap is and then discover strategies for closing it. In order to “tell students the truth” the teacher must pay close attention to each student individually, which requires the creation of a nurturing classroom space that doesn’t reprimand or discourage students who make mistakes, but lifts them up and uses those mistakes as the very mechanism of growth; that is the essence of finding and closing the gap.

    “When students understand that school is for them—a way of growing their minds—they do not insist on sabotaging themselves.”

    This passage also stands out. It comes right after Collins encourages an initially hesitant student to want and love learning. Collins demonstrates that it is necessary to remain positive with students, even when they are reluctant, and to continually remind them that as teachers we care for them, their education and their future. Collins positivity and affection allowed this student to know that school is for him and that school can get him where he wants to go. Ultimately, I think, that’s what it comes down to: showing students that what they learn in school can be used to mold their lives into what they want. Such a sentiment is the kind of understanding that students should be encouraged to have when it comes to learning. The only way to encourage this—and this is my take-home from this piece—is to show students how learning inspires personal, social and intellectual growth.

    Posted by Jason Kirkwood | July 3, 2013, 2:56 pm
  79. I got the same impression that most did about this article. Growth-minded educators are the ones that let their students know that they care about their long-term success. Their are no short cuts to excellence and every educator must be on the same page in order to maximize the impact of the educational experience for each and every student.

    Posted by Chris Sanger | July 3, 2013, 5:20 pm
  80. I take the approach that we as teachers grow in knowledge and skill by being both challenged by our students and learning skills in our professional classes in a nurturing environment so the same way we excel best, we should want for our students. I would use the same approach I would want for myself which is to be challenged but nurtured for my students so the growth-minded approach would be so wonderful to remember for the coming school year.

    Posted by Shadi Kafi | July 3, 2013, 5:53 pm
  81. I am committed to learning about my students, parents and community. I want to gain knowledge on how to help students be successful in and out of school. As a student I remember having teacher place students in these groups and giving up on them. I hope that by learning about my students and connecting with them and their families I will be able to bond with them and relate their issues to what I went through in grade school. As a student who struggled in school I understand. I can’t wait to help students as well as inspire them to do better for themselves and their families.

    Posted by Marla Trujillo | July 3, 2013, 8:45 pm
  82. This was a very interesting excerpt about mindset. I really identified with the growth mindset because I feel that every child has the potential to learn and grow. I am a firm believer that children need to feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment so that they can succeed academically. I as the educator will make my students feel comfortable and safe when they enter my classroom. Communication with parents and students is crucial in achieving student success. This excerpt gave me a really good idea of the kind of teacher I aspire to be one day.

    Posted by Carla Garcia | July 3, 2013, 11:42 pm
  83. Something that was particularly striking about this excerpt was the reminder that we can set higher standards and care deeply about our students, but we also have to give them the tools to achieve. I look forward to learning how to better equip all of my students with what they need to succeed. I am also committed to learning how to serve the individuals that will be in my class. I recognize that each student will need different types and amounts of support, so I am eager to learn what those supports are and how to best incorporate them into my instruction.

    Posted by Kirsten Arritt | July 4, 2013, 7:56 am
  84. “The great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are fascinated with the process of learning.” My mom was a teacher for more than 30 years and it was always fascinating to me to see her light up as she shared a story about a student who learned something that day. She had such great satisfaction watching her students learn and grow over the course of a year.

    One of the biggest take aways for me is the “contract” Collins makes with her students; “On the first day of school, she always promised her students – all students – that they would learn. She forged a contract with them.” (Collins talking to her students) “But you must help me to help you. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.” I think it is so important to let the students know that you are there for them, you want to help them grow and learn, but they have to work as well – learning is not a one-sided endeavor.

    I think that it is important to do as Rafe Esquith does and “constantly make them see how much they have grown intellectually – how assignments that were once hard have become easier because of their practice and discipline.” I don’t know about you, but I always got a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I would reflect on a period of time and remind myself of how much I had completed/tackled/overcome. Reminding our students constantly of what they’ve been able to do I think will help them continually push themselves forward to achieve more.

    I also believe that it is important to create a safe environment for students and let them know that you care, about them, their learning and their achievement. When you care – they care. When the environment of learning is safe, students are more comfortable with taking risks in learning – pushing themselves beyond what they “know” they can do.

    Lastly – this is very fitting with how I feel I would like my classroom to be: “A very strict and disciplined one, but a loving one….[with a] deep personal commitment to every student….Challenge and nurture.” This is my goal. I feel that if I can establish this environment that my students will be able to accomplish anything, and I will learn from all of them.

    Posted by Jenn Davis | July 4, 2013, 12:15 pm
  85. In what areas are you committed to improving? What impact does you think this commitment will have on your students?

    Art seems to be one of those subjects that people have a “fixed mindset about.” It seems that even students with growth mindsets percieve art as something that you are either born having a talent for, or not having a talent for. Something that I continuously stress to my students is that art is like anything else- it can be learned, you must practice, and dedicate yourself, while being kind to yourself in the process and giving 100%. While Cezanne, Duchamp, and Van Gogh certainly might have had greater inclinations towards art from the beginning than other people, they were not BORN painting masterpieces, but instead, began in the same pre-schematic way in which we all begin.

    This year I am committed to “demystifying talent” as DeLay does with her violin students. I commit to being honest with my students in a constructive way that promotes a growth mentality.

    Posted by Emma Giles | July 4, 2013, 12:39 pm
  86. This excerpt was moving. I hope have a classroom where all students are supportive of one another, where the encouragement to grow is not only coming from me but from their peers. I love to be challenged especially because my biggest competitor is myself. I like to see and be able to chart my growth and I am committed to giving my students the opportunity to do the same. When teenagers adopt the “I don’t get it and I never will” attitude it can be extremely difficult to sway them toward the opposite but I commit to improving the goals I set in such a way that they are measurable so the child can go back and have a tangible reflection on how far they have come and hopefully have a positive experience and response.

    Posted by Xochitl Safady | July 4, 2013, 12:46 pm
  87. -I am tempted to praise students for being “smart”. I must consciously stop myself from doing this, and instead ask myself what I can praise that is more specific. What is an actionable step that I can praise? These actionable steps can be increased and lead to greater success in the classroom. I have also read that praising a child for being clever can lead to lowered output from children.
    -I have always found that the process of learning is fascinating. Seeing the difference in how children learn is fascinating, but can also be frustrating as a teacher.
    -The speech given by Ms. Collins at the beginning of school is inspiring. Her passion for the process of learning is evident. When teachers believe in their students and are passionate about their learning, students begin to believe it, too. It really is contagious. These are the kind of teachers for whom students will really work hard and give their best. I think these speeches are best when delivered throughout the year and when given from the heart. When these words are embedded in thoughts, they affect everything a teacher does, and again, the students read the non-verbal messages just as clearly as the verbal ones.
    – The shift in perception of talent being hereditary v. being acquirable is really important in education. Most people – even as adults – are underperforming as a result of not being in an environment that demands more and pushes them to work harder and consistently improve. Teachers have a golden opportunity to change not only their own mindset, but the mindset of children who have been told (verbally or non-verbally) that they are not talented enough.
    – I disagree with the part of the article that says teachers judge from the beginning of the year who is smart and who is dumb and give up on the dumb ones claiming it is not her responsibility. I think that teachers assess students constantly, and some students achieve at faster rates than others, but I don’t think teachers give up on the ones who aren’t achieving. More often, teachers (I am referencing myself) don’t know exactly how to help slower students in the extremely limited amount of time given to learn a certain concept. Teachers are expected to perform under incredibly high standards. We are expected to produce results, such as students should master x objective, in one day or possibly less. This is not realistic for all students; however, this is far too much time for other students. How do we find a balance in which we meet every student’s needs? I think that introducing more technology based learning is one answer to this never-ending conundrum teachers face.
    – Trust is such an important factor in the classroom. Students need to be able to trust their teachers and not feel that the teacher is only out to judge them. I just watch a TED talk from Rita Piersen who gave a student a +2 with a big smiley face instead of a -18. She said -18 sucks the life out of a student, but a +2 shows them that it is not all bad. Ms. Piersen said the student will listen during the review of the material instead of shut down – thereby increasing his understanding and maintaining high standards. This is a perfect example of how teachers can build trust in a nurturing environment while maintaining high standards.
    – It is a challenge to provide a nurturing environment and maintain high standards. Students do need to know where they stand and what they have to do in order to achieve their goals. One challenge is teaching children discipline. Everyone wants something for nothing. The students want success but are sometimes not willing to put in the work required or do not know how. Finding ways to keeps students motivated during the times when they are struggling is critical.
    – Giving students the tools to close these achievement gaps is our job as teachers. However, it is often challenging as a first year teacher to know what tools to give a student.
    – The sentence that says we make a mistake if we think a student ever stops caring is so true. I know all students want to succeed – it is inherent to being human. But after being judged time and time again and being told (probably nonverbally) they are not good enough, their defenses go up. Apathy is a great defense mechanism for a student who is struggling and should be an indicator that I need to reflect on my teaching.
    – Great teachers learn along with their students. When we put down our walls a bit and allow ourselves not to be the authority on all knowledge, we allow ourselves an opportunity to grow.
    – Becoming growth minded requires a deep desire to reach in and ignite the mind of every child – it also requires the ability to remember the big picture- the vision you have for your students – throughout the year, during the hard times and the good times.

    Posted by Shayla Matthews | July 4, 2013, 1:46 pm
  88. The excerpt was inspiring. I think that the idea of having “Growth minded thinking” is such a simple idea, but such a large concept. We have to know and believe that all of our students have the ability to learn and exceed expectations, and we have to get them there.

    “When students understand that school is for them…a way for to grow their minds…they do not insist on sabotaging themselves.”

    As teachers, we need to find a way to these students, and channel them to success.

    Posted by Trina Stegemann | July 4, 2013, 8:12 pm
  89. As a teacher, I have always considered myself to be a person who sets high expectations for all students. I would set limits and if they were met then I knew I succeeded. However, after reading this excerpt I realized it is much more to this. This year I am committed to changing my mindset into becoming growth-minded teacher, one who believes that all students can learn at a high level, and believe that ANYTHING is possible in the classroom. I will not set limits to my students’ growth I want their learning capabilities to excel further than what I can perceive.

    Posted by Candice Billups | July 4, 2013, 8:41 pm
  90. I loved this excerpt. It was really encouraging. I think it is really important to hear about the success of teachers in challenging circumstances, and recognize that with dedication and a focus on our students we can make a difference. I think it can be really easy to get caught up in the “logistics” of teaching, and forget “loving” part. I have seen glimpses already of the difference it makes with challenging students when they believe you are invested in them… and I look forward to stiving to create an environment in my classroom that fosters learning, encouragement, and reaching for high expectations. I also recognize the importance of providing students with the tools to meet those expectations. I loved what the excerpt said about making excuses for when students “can’t learn,” as I recognize that as a defense mechanism. Ultimately, it is my job as a teacher to move beyond my prior conceptions of what teaching would look like, and find what works for my students, and I look forward to the opportunity to do that this year.

    Posted by Amy Hohulin | July 4, 2013, 10:16 pm
  91. I did not realize the level of attention given to the types of mindsets that we do and when I started to think about it we as individuals do have certain mindsets about how we learn and grow, about what we can or cannot do. I also took the mindset survey and my results were that I had a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset. I thought that was very interesting and encouraging for me to continue my growth. In order to grow you have to be open to it, you have to realize that your not stuck or don’t have to be stuck with the same mindset but that you can challenge yourself to grow. As a teacher i want to project that type of mindset onto my students as well were we can continue to grow and challenge ourselves to reach our potential and beyond.

    Posted by Vanessa Alexander | July 5, 2013, 10:08 am
  92. As a future math teacher, I know that one of the biggest challenges I will face is getting the students to believe they can do all of this. Many students have a fear/hate of math which inhibits their performance in the classroom and on tests. Personally I loved the subject growing up, so I am committed to give students a better appreciation of math. I will help students get rid of their fear of math. Once someone conquers a subject they feel is extrememly difficult or just foreign to them, it provides them with a confidence booster which will carry on to their other classes. Once they have this confidence booster they will feel like they can do anything, no matter how difficult, as long as they work at it and try different approaches. I want students to feel that way. I want them to be able to look at a difficult math problem or situation and say to them selves “I can do this! Maybe if I try it a different way.” I want students to understand that the best things in life come when you work hard and never give up.

    Posted by Geraldine Bravo | July 5, 2013, 10:24 am
  93. Amazing piece. I took two important things from the piece. Firstly, it is crucial to hold ALL students to high standards because students can reach them. Yet beyond just holding them to the standards, teachers must provide students pathways to reach those expectations. Secondly, teachers must care deeply about all their students. Students must know their teachers care about them and that teachers believe in their ability to improve.

    Posted by Neeraj Salhotra | July 5, 2013, 1:29 pm
  94. One concept that stuck me while reading this excerpt was that the fears that students face are often the same issues that we face as adults. Fear of failure, temptation to settle and take the easy way out, laziness, and concern about how others perceive us are challenges that do not vanish when we reach a certain age. They can certainly remain even after we have achieved success by worldly standards. If we as teachers attempt to parade ourselves before our students as perfect, “finished products,” whose sole job it is to “impart knowledge,” we only deceive ourselves (though we probably will not deceive our students).

    I love how Collins said, “There is no magic here. Mrs. Collins is no miracle worker. I do not walk on water, l do not part the sea. I just love children and work harder than a lot of people, and so will you.” Teachers are always taught to “model” learning concepts for their students. What better way to inspire young learners than to show that you, as their teacher, are still learning, still struggling at times, and still working very hard, just as you expect them to?

    One area I would like to improve in is diligence in general. After college, I taught English in Korea for a year, got married two months later, moved to Texas, and have spent the past several months traveling and relaxing. I worked hard in college and in Korea (and during the wedding planning period), and it is time for me to shake off the vacation mindset and jump back into the kind of production mindset that I want my students to have. I feel like I tasted this during KIPP SHINE Prep’s Summer Session, and I know the transition back into a fast-paced, labor-intensive lifestyle will be challenging, but I am committed to giving it my all. I hope my students will see my dedication and know that I am not asking them to do anything that I am not doing myself.

    Posted by Sarah Durm | July 5, 2013, 1:41 pm
  95. My biggest takeaway from this reading was the sense of togetherness that I observed in each of the classrooms/schools described. The teachers were each truly committed to making the journey of learning a team effort. They were not under the impression that they were the center of all knowledge in the classroom; they were committed to guiding their students and learning along side them. As Rafe Esquith told his students, the teacher “is not smarter than they are–just more experienced.” I also love the passion that was so evident in the attitude of Marva Collins as she told students on the first day that she “loved them already”. She established an “atmosphere of genuine affection” and I think that is essential in many ways. Students need to know that you deeply care about them and their development and learning individually, that you will be right there with them every step of the way. I believe that that kind of support system is invaluable to a student’s growth and is one of the key ways that student will meet the high expectations you set for them. I hope to start off day one with that kind of attitude and passion. I will strive for my classroom to be one of both “challenge and nurture” (pg. 6) and for my mindset to be one that seeks to learn, grow, and always find new ways to “reach in and ignite the mind of every child.” (pg. 10) When a teacher is growth-minded, it seems that he or she will be able to learn from everything they encounter and be better for it moving forward. As a new teacher, that gives me a great deal of hope an excitement as I begin this journey.

    Posted by Annie McDonald | July 5, 2013, 1:42 pm
  96. After reading this article, I am reminded of the importance of seeing the potential in each and every child to master rigorous context, not just the children who are already excelling. I commit to having a classroom where children are not judged but rather challenged and cared for. I commit to refusing to accept stereotypes of which children can and cannot succeed academically. I commit to creating a challenging and nurturing environment students where my students learn to love learning. I want my students to understand that I am pushing them because I believe in them and care about them.

    Posted by molly frye | July 5, 2013, 3:25 pm
  97. COLLINS: Sweetheart, what are you going to do? Use your life or throw it away?
    GARY: I’m not gonna do any damn work.
    COLLINS: I am not going to give up on you. I am not going to let you give up on yourself. lf you sit there leaning against this wall all day, you are going to end up leaning on something or someone all your life. And all that brilliance bottled up inside you will go to waste.

    I love this approach. It highlights an important trait I learned as an ISS monitor, ‘dis-passionate’ reactions. It not only reveals to the student that the teacher is not out to get him/her, but, also, students are reminded of the commitment that they, their parents, and the teacher have made. It gives another alternative to ‘over-praising’ a student and re-iterates honesty and transparency. The re-direction is tangible proof that the student realizes the depth the teacher will go to pull said student back into to discovering and learning. This form of intervention diffuses the low expectations students set for themselves and that of peer pressure around them.

    Posted by Terrell Quillin | July 5, 2013, 5:01 pm
  98. This excerpt really excited me when it talked about how these growth-minded teachers love to learn with their students. I love learning, and I’m also teaching Texas history in the fall, something with which I have very limited experience. Tackling this content with my students and learning together is incredibly exciting to me. I commit to being transparent with my students about the fact that we are all learning and using this fact to further create a classroom culture where learning is exciting and valued.

    Posted by Ashley Byrd | July 5, 2013, 5:26 pm
  99. I definitely want to hold my students to high, above grade level standards, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to get there. It sounds like a big part of this is simply believing in your students, but I know that I will still need to put appropriate pressure on myself to motivate students and to give them the tools to complete rigorous work. So, I commit to one-on-one interactions with students. I think this is one of my strong suits, and it is really an area where I can demonstrate my belief in each and every individual students.

    I also want to commit to learning myself, just as teachers mentioned in the reading were committed. If I can learn how to make content engaging, student-centered, and rigorous, I think student learning at a high level will follow. The combination of my motivation and student motivation that is catalyzed by interesting material will allow my students to meet my high expectations.

    Posted by Zachary Marx-Kuo | July 5, 2013, 6:59 pm
  100. I love this idea of a growth mindset and holding ourselves to higher standards as we hold our students to higher standards. I feel so inspired by the stories of the great teachers mentioned in this chapter. After reading this article I am even more excited to take on the task of teaching middle school science. It encourages me and makes me believe that with a growth mindset, I too can empower my students to achieve high levels of learning.

    One quote in this chapter that struck me was from Collin’s student who was asked “Why do you like it? It’s just too hard” and responded by stating “that’s why I like it, it makes your brains bigger”. This reminds me of something that many of my friends who are teachers have shared with me. When they have given me advice for next year, they have told me that students WANT you to be strict with them, they WANT to be held accountable. I have been thinking a lot about this and this article really made me able to connect with the idea. I am determined to be a growth minded teacher, seeing the potential for greatness in every one of my students, helping them, and making sure that they achieve it. I want to set higher standards for every student, not just the high achieving ones, just as the three great teachers in this chapter have done.

    Posted by Heather Rymal | July 5, 2013, 7:03 pm
  101. My favorite professor was famous for being thrilled when students asked a question he couldn’t answer- he was equally well known for always coming to class the next day with a well-researched solution. That combination was amazing. To experience learning alongside a teacher and to feel that your question or puzzle was interesting enough for him to get excited about it drove students to look deeper and deeper at the text- and they were not easy texts! I realized watching him that the passion for a subject needs to grow as you teach it rather than stagnate as you cover the same material. I love the combination of high standards and strong scaffolding. It’s not fair to put the cookie jar out of reach and then punish students for not being tall enough. Instead teachers need to be open and eager to pursue a goal that is both hard work and worthwhile. The quote by Esquith about spending hours structuring the lesson so even his lower-performing students would have an appropriate and challenging reading portion really struck home. This sort of input takes effort. That sort of input produces results. I think it’s worthwhile- even if it will be hard work!

    Posted by Hannah Roberts | July 5, 2013, 8:28 pm
  102. My biggest take away from this article is that growth-minded educators create an environment that challenges students to reach high standards while at the same time is loving and nurturing. The author stated that if teachers judge students, students will in turn sabotage the teacher by not trying. This thought is powerful because it truly happens, most times subconsciously for the student. In order to further develop my growth-mindset, I commit to having a classroom free of student judgment. I also commit to creating an environment where structure and expectations are balance with love and affection. I also commit to learning something new every day right alongside of my students.

    Posted by Jocelyn Veasley | July 5, 2013, 8:53 pm
  103. As I read this article, I was most impact by the notion of becoming a teacher who can both challenge and nurture. Too often, we think of “great teachers” as either one or the other: the hard-driving teacher who intimidates students into working, or the teacher who gets students to fall in love with the subject but doesn’t push students to achieve true academic rigor. As Dweck notes, a great teacher is someone who can take the best of both worlds and empower students through rigor, challenge, and nurture. In this sense, great teachers can instill a growth mindset in students. Students will feel comfortable pushing themselves, as they know their teachers will always be there for support and help. In an environment of academic support students are more likely to learn to challenge themselves (further developing their own internal motivation). I am interested to read more of Dweck’s work and learn more about how a growth mindset can be best developed as part of classroom culture.

    Posted by Adara Robbins | July 5, 2013, 10:06 pm
  104. In what areas are you committed to improving? What impact does you think this commitment will have on your students?

    To begin, I just want to say that I REALLY loved this passage! I was truly inspired. As a life-long student, it really comforted me to know that it’s okay to place myself in the mindset of a “learner” although I’m the “educator.” I am definitely committed to improving in areas that pertain to showing students all possible avenues that will prepare the for the rigors of science. Because I understand the many complexities that come with learning science, I will stay mindful of the learning challenges that I had and use those “lessons learned” in times when my students are struggling with the content.

    I believe that by placing myself in the “learner” mindset and not in the “let me tell you all that I know” mindset, my students would be able to develop a style of learning the content while learning and getting them to the point in which they don’t need me to learn anymore is my mark for them.

    Having a growth mindset is vital for the success of our students; combined with genuine care and careful planning there’s nothing our students won’t be able to do.

    Posted by Sharline McClendon | July 5, 2013, 10:40 pm
  105. The part that stood out to me the most in this reading was the balance of learning and love. You must set high expectations but you also have a nuturing attitude to let students know that you care about them and you will be there to help them reach the high expectations. Setting higher expectations gives students flexibility to surpass their own expectations and take learning to the next level.
    I have worked with students for over 5 years and learned that students will reach the expectations that you set for them as long as they know the expectations from the beginning and have guidance along the way. Teaching science is definitely a fun way to set high expectations and foster learning at various levels. The paragraph about getting students to their own ultimate potential is a key take away from this passage because this is definitely a challenge. However, getting students to their ultimate potential no matter how high or low they start off in the beginning is essential for creating success in the classroom but also ultimately in life. I can think back to my own experience as a student and realize my favorite teachers gave me the extra push for learning while in their classroom. I plan to teach with this mindset because I love challenging students but also providing the good foundation of having good rapport with them so they feel comfortable to reach the goals that not only I have set but they have agreed on.

    Posted by Jascelyn Gause | July 6, 2013, 10:06 am
  106. The article was moving in terms of reminding us the steps we need to take to become great teachers and instill greatness in our students. We need to set high expectations for our students. We need to make public our care for our students. We need to give our students the tools to become successful in and out of the classroom. Without these steps, we are allowing our students to fall into cycle of no change or challenges to their minds. Our students deserve the best in the world and we can give it to them.

    Posted by Tia Leone | July 6, 2013, 10:53 am
  107. I read the book Mindset in a health education course and it changed my way of thinking. I felt really challenged by Collin’s argument that our culture makes children and even adults afraid of failure to the point that we don’t try new things, because we are too afraid to be failures. As a parent and teacher, we constantly offer praise for successes, which can translate into a fear of failure for our children. Instead, we should be praising our children for sticking with it, for growing, and for problem solving. Since reading this book, I have tried to reframe how I offer praise to the children in my life- by praising them for their successes by acknowledging their perseverance and grit.

    I hope Teaching Excellence and all my fellow teachers can challenge me to ensure that I also have a growth mindset, because many of us were also raised fearing failure.

    Posted by Sara Millimet | July 6, 2013, 12:04 pm
  108. This was a wonderful piece about teachers and how teaching is not only imparting knowledge, but learning as you go. I fully believe that the teacher must learn and form relationships with students as the year progresses. The teacher must facilitate the learning, but the teacher must learn, too. I loved the challenge to the student “Gary.” The teacher told him that everyone will work in this class, and if he did not wish to learn, he should go call his mother to come get him, because he wanted to fool around. A sense of urgency is needed in the classroom. There must be no time wasted. Many of the students we will be teaching will have a gap in their learning that needs to be closed. The gap will only be closed if we all use every minute to close that gap. There must not be any wasted time. Every activity should be scripted out and every project planned.

    Posted by Ryan Beeler | July 6, 2013, 2:16 pm
  109. High expectations yield high results! Strong support not only from parents but also from teachers can lead to success to all of our students. When I was reading this article I thought a lot about the many differences experiences I have had with students: good ones and not so “good” ones. The “not so good ones” are the ones that keep me going and motivate me to become better and stronger every day. Sometimes students’ misbehavior is a defensive mechanism of their lack of understanding. Therefore, I always ask myself: What actions steps should I take to make sure I can reach every student’s need? What can I do differently to make sure the students understand? How can I become a better teacher? How can I do that? Establishing a positive, safe but at the same time rigorous learning atmosphere is fundamental in a classroom.

    What I love about teaching is that you grow so much and learn not only about other people but also about yourself. My goal as a teacher is to prepare them academically and for college but also to get them ready to think positively for themselves. It takes hard work! This brings me to one of my favorite quote from a professor I had, “There is no elevator to success… you have to take the stairs”.

    Posted by Victor Osorio | July 6, 2013, 5:26 pm
  110. Becoming a teacher has been a world wind of emotions. Although I am happy, excited, nervous, I am sure of one thing: I want to push my students to be the best that they can be. Life is not a walk in the park, and I want to prepare my students for the real world. I want to help them obtain and maintain the ideas and qualities it will take for them to be phenomenal citizens and role models within their community and across nations.

    What touched me in this article was the section about guiding students to their own ultimate potential. I have witnessed that this is easier said than done (but I am still determined to push my students to see what I see). As a TFA CM teaching summer school currently, I believe I have some of the brightest 3rd grade students currently. However, when you ask them, if they believe they are smart or why do they feel like they shouldn’t try on an assignment, a large number would say “They are dumb/stupid.” It is statements like such that show that some kids are not aware that every child has the potential to be great. But it is our duties as teachers to prove them wrong by setting our expectations high. Through setting the bar high, I believe students will start to believe in themselves. Once this confidence is built, anything is possible.

    However, it is going to take more than just teachers to show students their ultimate potential is obtainable. “It takes a village to raise a child” and it will take just that for students to reach their goals. With multiple avenues of support–tradiational (mom, dad, sister, brother, aunts, etc), non traditional (church family, neighbors, grandparents, etc), a child is destined to be great!

    Posted by Toya H. | July 6, 2013, 11:26 pm
  111. Important commands that I took away from this article and commit to applying in my classroom are:

    *Do not let your ego into the classroom.
    *Believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, be fascinated with the process of learning.
    *Don’t hide the truth from kids: Collins said to a boy clowning around in class, “You are in the 6th grade and your reading score is ___. I don’t hide your scores in a folder. I tell them to you so you know what you have to do. Now your clowning days are over.”
    *Give students the means of reaching high standards.
    *Promise students that they will learn, forge a contract at the beginning of class, “I know most of you can’t spell your name. You don’t know the alphabet, you don’t know how to read, you don’t know homonyms or how to syllabicate. I promise you that you will. None of you has ever failed. School may have failed you. Well, goodbye to failure, children. Welcome to success. You will read hard books in here and understand what you read. You will write every day…but you must help me to help you. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.”
    *Create an atmosphere of affection and deep personal commitment
    *Do not let the students who act like they don’t care and won’t participate get away with it. Say to them, “If you do not want to participate, go to the telephone and tell your mother, ‘Mother, in this school we have to learn, and Mrs Collins says I can’t fool around, so will you please pick me up’”

    Posted by Eleni Agiz | July 7, 2013, 11:07 am
    • also, considering the text “practice perfect” I need to practice setting up such a classroom environment of affection and commitment to work. What are the things I can say or put up on my classroom wall? How do I implement these commands from the very beginning of the school year?

      Posted by Eleni Agiz | July 7, 2013, 11:10 am
  112. My biggest takeaway from this article is the ever present concept of love. I firmly believe that the need to give and receive love is in every human nature and I am a huge supporter of integrating this mindset into the classroom. This concept of asset-based thinking is huge in the success of our students. Whenever I reflect on my own experience as a student, I find that my best teachers are the ones with which I had the closest relationships. They were the teachers that made a conceited effort to get to know me outside my classwork and grades, and then connected that relationship back to the challenges in the classroom. This nurturing relationship related directly to empowering me to reach for new heights and feel as if I was capable of anything. This is my commitment to my students: I will love each and every one of them so as to fill them with a confidence and belief in themselves. I will nurture this self confidence with rigorous academic material that will push my students’ thinking to new heights. I realize that what may work for one student may not work for another and it is only through constant innovation and forward thinking that I can create an active wheel of achievement in my classroom.

    Posted by Megan Raesemann | July 7, 2013, 11:26 am
  113. Growth. It’s a natural inclination – when we’re little kids, we want to get bigger. As we get older, we want to get better. And I think one of the strongest points in this excerpt is the assertion that all students want to grow, even those that show no such desire on the surface. It’s in our DNA. So growth-minded teachers are not doing something revolutionary. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, but instead simply acknowledge that it exists. The capacity for development is hard-wired into all of us, which means it’s there in each of our students, waiting to emerge.

    This mindset is something I hope I always carry with me into the classroom. I know that I don’t know everything. In the grand scheme of things, I know very little. And this means that I should be willing and eager to learn something every day. I believe if we live this way it becomes transparent to our students and contagious in the classroom. I love the concept that we are not there to impart knowledge, but instead to raise the bar and show students how to get there. The moment we stop believing in possibility or see no avenue for growth in our students or ourselves is the moment we stop being a teacher. For that matter, it’s also the moment we lose part of what makes us human to begin with.

    Posted by Nathanael | July 7, 2013, 11:47 am
  114. As a first year teacher there is obviously a TON of growth to be had. One thing that I have heard over and over again from experienced teachers is that the first year or two is the hardest and that it will only be after those two years that I will start to feel comfortable with what I am teaching and I will finally have my feet set. I hate when teachers tell me that. I refuse to fall under this category of “fighting to stay afloat.” The main reason is because that is not fair to my students. I plan on making incredible strides with these kids and that will only be possible if they know that they can count on me. They need to see that I am invested in them 100% and that I am not spinning my wheels when it comes to their education.

    I think what will help most with growth and becoming comfortable in the classroom is getting to know my students and developing relationships with them. It is not so much what I am teaching but whom I am teaching it to. There will always be an infinite amount of material that a student will be able to learn but if they are not taught in a way that suits them best then all the educating will be for nothing.

    Posted by Joe Wertz | July 7, 2013, 11:58 am
  115. This article was truly inspiring. From all that I have learned speaking with the faculty of Yes Prep, and some KIPP educators as well, this article sums up their experiences. Teaching is not about setting a standard goal that is easily attained, but rather creating a challenge that is backed by nurturing attitude and belief within the students. The commitment to students and to learning is what makes a teacher more than just an encyclopedia. Even when students give up on themselves, you as an educator, need to be there to reignite the spark and passion that each student should have flickering behind their eyes. Commitment and a passion for learning and the building blocks to an excellent teacher.

    Posted by S. Laumen | July 7, 2013, 12:11 pm
  116. One thing I really like about this article was the emphasis teachers must place on being learners. I love to learn, and as a new teacher, I know that I have such a long way to go in order to be a “master teacher” especially like the ones that were featured in the reading. A character trait necessary to become an effective teacher is humility. In the text it says, “Fixed-minded teachers often think of themselves as finished products.” I see how as a new teacher, I do not agree with this notion, but over the years it can become a easy trap to fall in. I will commit to remaining a teachable teacher, no matter how much progress I make. I will be open to change and make proper adjustments in order to better serve all of my students needs.

    Posted by Shawna Francis | July 7, 2013, 1:38 pm
  117. I loved reading this article! It gave me some ideas on how to challenge my most challenging students to participate and to believe in themselves. It’s one thing to give the same rhetoric over and over again: believe in yourself, believe in yourself. It’s another thing entirely to say, “You have genius bottled up inside of you and you are letting it go to waste by not participating. I’m not going to give up on you. I’m not going to let you give up on yourself.” I wish I had read this article before last Wednesday. One of my students was unresponsive and I did not know what to do. I now wish I had handled it much differently. I believe in every student’s potential. Every single student can grow and achieve at high levels. I want to learn to express my belief more clearly in my classroom. This article was SO helpful.

    Posted by Christina Beeler | July 7, 2013, 1:55 pm
  118. When I read this article. I immediately thought of areas where I need to grow. I am not consistent with high standards all of the time. I look forward to drafting my key points and objectives and holding myself and my students to those standards this coming year. I also need to create that loving environment where failure is not the end, but a starting point.

    Posted by Jared Braun | July 7, 2013, 3:27 pm
  119. The reading by Dweck was both inspiring and insightful. It points out the balancing act that teaching at its best truly is, and there is clearly a fine line between setting standards high without discouraging student learning. Teachers must come across as both firm and caring. Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this reading was about the nature of the teacher rather than that of the students. First, teachers’ preconceived notions about certain types of students tend to function as self-fulfilling prophecies. A teacher may see a student who is below grade level in reading and think “this student cannot learn”. In reality, this student has not been taught and has been failed by the educational system. While particular students may present unique challenges for teachers, no student is incapable of learning. It is the job of an educator to adapt his teaching style to each student rather than expect each student to adapt to one style of teaching. I particularly liked the quote that teachers often hide their own shortcomings and inabilities by writing off a student’s potential. Secondly, teachers must resist the urge to judge students prematurely. Students can sense that judgment and will respond by withdrawing from their education. Teachers must view themselves not as the absolute authority on their subject, but as equals in learning with their students; yes, teachers are there to impart certain knowledge to students, but at times students will teach their teachers and at times they will be uncovering new things together. As Dweck sees it, being a good educator is about being dynamic and willing to reevaluate ways of doing things.

    Posted by Matt Mariani | July 7, 2013, 3:45 pm
  120. As a new teacher with limited classroom experience and no experience teaching in my content area reading about the growth-minded teachers was slightly overwhelming. The solace in the excerpt was the idea that Dweck talks about re: teaching and learning. What she writes that so powerful is that the assumption made my most teachers is that school is a place where students come to learn. What Dweck advocates for instead is that teaching and school be places where teachers are constantly learning and growing in content knowledge, but also learning about people, about the craft, and about life. What Dweck emphasized for me is that teaching is really a multi-faceted multi-pronged, many layered labor of love and that the best teachers go to work every day not ready to only impart knowledge to students but also be to open vessels to receive new knowledge. What I’m passionate about learning most this fall is learning how other people learn and trying out new strategies that can reach all kinds of learners. I’m excited to learn about high-standards and be the lens through which my students begin to critique and examine the larger world around them.

    Posted by Brandon Lewis | July 7, 2013, 4:21 pm
  121. This excerpt was a great read. Reading the personal examples of these teachers was very motivating. My biggest take away from this excerpt was Delay’s perspective on teaching where it is mentioned about her that teaching was about watching something grow before her very eyes. And the challenge was to figure out how to make it happen. Her description shows that she had a very honest and sincere desire for her students to improve and develop their own appreciation for learning.

    Although at first impression the accounts of how the students were transformed seemed story like, I genuinely appreciated the explanation of the teacher’s efforts that took place behind the scenes, but were critical in this process. Understanding this encourages me to put in the effort for the students I will be teaching this year. It also motivates me to have genuine appreciation for the lives of the students that I will be working. This will help them feel confident in participating in the learning process as a class.

    Posted by Salomon Lara | July 7, 2013, 7:12 pm
  122. This will be my first year as a teacher and with all the information and sessions I have been going through over the last five weeks, I can say it’s a big challenge. I didn’t expect it to be easy and honestly if it was I would probably be bored. However, I have learned over the last few weeks of teaching summer school that classroom management is a big factor in how much you can really get done and challenge your students. I am committed to continuously improving my classroom management and creating a culture of acceptance, success, and open mindedness. I agree that a growth mindset for me and my students will play a huge role in classroom success and will keep my students from feeling as though they are being judged.

    Posted by Kara Cannon | July 7, 2013, 8:44 pm
  123. I am committed to holding firm on the idea that for all students in my classroom there is no option of not trying. Holding students to the high expectations I set early on will ensure that they see that while it is ok to try, give the incorrect answer and then learn the correct answer, it is never ok to not venture any answer. I am committing to creating the nurturing atmosphere described in the passage, so that all my students feel safe and comfortable and ready to try hard.

    Posted by Munira Boxwalla | July 7, 2013, 9:28 pm
  124. I’m currently a high school basketball coach, and I am great at motivating and getting the best out of my players that WANT to learn. The area where I need tremendous improvement is motivating those children that are not motivated and seem disinterested. Reading the teaching strategies that Collins, Esquith, and DeLay used were motivating to me and I’m eager to give them a try and even add my own twist. After reading this selection I am more than ready to accept the challenge of helping ALL my players reach their full potential. I will also carry this enthusiasm and work ethic to my classroom this fall. I believe my new found strategy will have a positive impact on myself as well as my children, giving them the confidence that they might have once lacked. This passage was an eye opener for me and definitely an area I need to work on. I hope to one day be considered a “growth-minded teacher”.

    Posted by Timothy Nelson | July 7, 2013, 9:40 pm
  125. “In fact, many teachers mentally weeded out the students they weren’t going to bother with.”

    When I first read this, I fly to judgments about “these teachers.” How dare they assume that some students can learn and some students can’t. How dare they give up?

    But I know I’ve done this. I know I’ve given more effort and time to teaching the 75% that are tracking with me. The 75% that “get it.” The 75% that have bought into me and my classroom. I’m not proud of this and I want it to change. It is unjust to “write kids off” and it is exactly this mentality that leads to mediocre teaching and failing schools. How do we fight it, especially when it’s hard?

    Though I don’t like admitting my failure to see growth and promote growth in ALL kids, I think it happens all the time. We, like students, want to be good at what we do. We want to be good teachers. We want to be approved by our bosses and reviewed well, etc. We hate “failing,” and we often feel like “failures” when we confront students who “don’t get it.” No matter what we do, they “don’t understand,” they make teaching “difficult,” or they refuse to participate in our culture. But our job and our call to them remains the same. We MUST help them grow and, in the process, we will actually grow and learn how to truly teach and coach mindsets of achievement and purpose rather than just getting 75% of a group of kids to like us 75% of the time.

    Posted by Maggie Gunn | July 7, 2013, 9:45 pm
  126. I absolutely LOVED Teach ‘Em Up! I truly connect with this excerpt in that I can admit my biggest anxiety going into the classroom as a first year teacher is, how will I effectively engage and ignite the student (or students) who appear to have “turned off school”. This piece directly addresses for me that very thought. I am a personal believer in standards and know in my core that any/every student truly can learn. I believe that students desire to be challenged and that they want that feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with meeting challenges. “Lowering standards just leads to poorly educated students who feel entitled to easy work and lavish praise.” I will take the preceding statement with me as I set an “atmosphere of trust and not judgement”, one of learning. I’ve seen the essence of this excerpt within my personal experience as a parent. I actually have a daughter that is GT and a son that is autistic. As long as he was in special education, there wasn’t much measurable growth. It wasn’t until he was put in a general education classroom that we saw REMARKABLE improvements. His teacher, who had very little training in special education at the time of his placement, was very concerned about how he would handle and progress in this setting. However, she is an awesome teacher who has high standards for her students. I knew this about her because my daughter sat in her classroom the year before and soared in her academics as a result of her high standards. I KNEW that being in her classroom was exactly what my son needed and would benefit him GREATLY… and IT DID. We saw more measurable growth in his progress in that ONE academic year, under her instruction, than we had seen in the previous TWO years COMBINED. One main difference I personally believe, was her standards. Yes he received some accommodations, but her high expectations and standards were the same for all her students, including my son. He excelled because he was given the opportunity to do so. If a student is given the opportunity and the tools to perform, they ABSOLUTELY will. I will be a growth minded teacher.

    Posted by Monai Slocum | July 8, 2013, 12:52 am
  127. Most teachers that I have encountered want their students to work to improve and learn, to persevere through school struggles, and to want to learn, essentially teachers want students with growth mindsets. Importantly, this article highlights that this mindset doesn’t and many times can’t just start with the students but has to be exemplified by the teacher. A teacher who truly wants students to learn and believe in themselves can’t just “give lip service” to the idea but has to truly have and embody the mindset as well, believing in each individual student, setting high expectations for all, and providing them with the tools to learn. The care, the expectations, and the tools are all important pieces to the puzzle. When I think about teachers in many schools, however, I can see why and how it is difficult for teachers (and therefore students) to maintain this mindset. If school leaders and administrators are more focused on pass rates and filling requirements than on helping teachers improve, many can struggle. This is one of many reasons why I am so excited to be joining the YES Prep team and Teaching Excellence. The growth mindset clearly starts at the top with the “Teach ‘Em Up” motto described in the original post. Thus, I look forward to learning and growing in my teaching with my colleagues, which will help me model this mindset for my students. Creating a classroom where high expectations are set each day and where students feel safe to explore and learn is key. So, I am excited and committed to improving the way I teach to reflect these aspects! I look forward to growing and watching my students grow throughout the year!

    Posted by Morgan Brown | July 8, 2013, 9:00 am
  128. This article was an important reminder for me of the importance of whole-heartedly believing in students’ abilities to grow and learn, especially when they are resistant. Throughout my education, I saw many students inspired in life-changing ways by their English classes, and I saw others give in to a mindset that they were incapable in English and hated reading. In thinking about the subject area I wanted to teach, this came to mind. I see ELA as a vital opportunity to get young people excited about reading and learning through literature. Additionally, learning to write effectively is an imperative skill in today’s job market. This article reminded me of the vitality of maintaining a positive and open mindset within my classroom. It is a huge undertaking to invest oneself whole-heartedly in the education and academic achievements of each and every student in a classroom, but it can be done. Excerpts like this are an important reminder of our ability to be change agents in the lives of our students. This will go in my file of inspiration for the tough days that will inevitably come!

    Posted by Whitney McMillan | July 8, 2013, 10:20 am
  129. I appreciated this article. Every time, I read about what each teacher did for their students, it reminded me of my teachers and what they did for me to help me get to the place where I am today. Ever since I was young, I told myself that if I ever became a teacher, I would like to make an impact like the impact my teachers left on me.

    This article is really helpful to me because it is showing me what I can do for my kids to push them while showing them that I care about them as well. This year, I am teaching 6th grade science, a subject that students love learning, but have difficulty grasping the concepts. I want to get to the point, where my students enjoy the overall subject of science. One way I can help my students get to that point is by letting them know that I am learning with them. Although I have a background in Science, that does not mean I know everything about 6th grade Science. I think if students know that about me, this will help me relate to them and help me push them to learn more.

    Overall, I want to find a balance where I can make sure I pushing my students to their fullest potential while showing them that I deeply care for them at the same time.

    Posted by Rebeka S | July 8, 2013, 11:02 am
  130. While reading this excerpt, I was impressed with how Collins confronted difficult students who did not desire to participate. Specifically, I was struck with how she would craft her responses to uncooperative students in such a way that their behavior was condemned without casting the students themselves in a negative light. For example, Collins tells a student named Gary that “[i]f you sit there leaning against this wall all day, you are going to end up leaning on something or someone all your life. And all that brilliance bottled up inside you will go to waste.” She also says, “If you do not want to participate, go to the telephone and tell your mother, ‘Mother, in this school we have to learn, and Mrs. Collins says I can’t fool around, so will you please pick me up.” This teacher-student exchange is interesting because Collins redirects the negativity of the situation and creates a non-accusatory environment for Gary and instead of saying he is wasting his potential and life, she shifts her focus to his bottled up brilliance. Then, instead of telling Gary to call his mother and let her know the he does not want to learn, she shifts the focus to the school – “in this school we have to learn.”

    My goal is to be able to be conscientious of my encouragement to my struggling students so that I can become more like Collins in my response to students. My hope in doing so is to foster a firm, non-judgmental environment where students are pushed to grow in a healthy way.

    Posted by Tim Mattingly | July 8, 2013, 11:42 am
  131. In what areas are you committed to improving?
    I spent last year working at one of the worst high schools in HISD, Jesse H. Jones High School. I was an Apollo 20 math tutor working with about 7 students (I lost some due to moving, and gained some second semester). I went into the arena with this mentality, “every single kid can succeed,” and left feeling overwhelmed by the power of poverty. It discouraged me to be a part of a school who lacked discipline for the staff, that trickled down to a lacking infrastructure for the students. I saw the bright, loving eyes of kids grow dim, and flicker every once and a while. I had very little power apart from my own students. I tried hard to maintain an atmosphere of “no record of past wrongs,” “new mercies every day,” “brand new day, minute, moment,” and “expectations are still high.” But it was difficult, and I admit I lost sight of it some days when it just seemed impossible to fight. I recognize this philosophy is fundamental to YES prep, but I know that the administration holds the teachers to this standard, and the kids will be seeing it from all staff; that is a tremendous structure for new teachers to walk into, feeling safe and supported. I just hope that, even in the midst of such an organization, I can hold fast to these principles and not differentiate students in a judgmental way; and see from my actions the light flow back into the eyes of my students.

    What impact do you think this commitment will have on your students?
    I hope they will see their immeasurable value, potential, and importance; and that will translate into real, tangible growth and success.

    Posted by Summer Wayhan | July 8, 2013, 11:46 am
  132. This chapter was very interesting and motivating. I appreciated Delay’s perspective on how a teacher should be committed to his or her students. As a first year teacher with only a few years of hands on classroom experience, I sometimes get nervous. I want to do my best for my future students and do not want to fail them. I liked how many of the teachers in the example stories had the same viewpoint as myself; they saw the student not grasping a concept as their fault, not the students. They do not know how to do things yet, and I am in charge of ensuring they succeed. I loved the story of the Julliard teacher who was told to give up on a student who “had no ear” so it was a waste of the teacher’s time. We need to remember not to quit on the “dumb” ones. We must have to belief that all student’s can learn, we just need to figure out how to teach them.

    Posted by Anna Hooper | July 8, 2013, 1:05 pm
  133. I entered the Chicago Public School system the summer after I graduated from college.I never received any formal coaching, so naturally my teaching style mirrored that of those who had taught me.  This piece made me think back to all the times I had to remind my students that if you want to be successful in life it’s going to be hard, very hard, but not impossible. I told them about certain aspects of my life growing up,  because I wanted them to know that I was a person or ” real” as my students would say. And lastly, I expressed to the the importance collaborative success.  I am motivated by people who are committed to the idea of changing mindsets. I am even more motivated by individuals who raise standards, and give students the means to reach them. Good read!  

    Posted by Nandi Rease | July 8, 2013, 1:19 pm
  134. Growth minded teachers are necessary if we’re hoping to close the achievement gap. So many times, I’ve seen students give up on themselves because the way I presented the material was confusing to them and didn’t make sense and that just meant I had to find another method so that those students can learn too.

    I am passionate about learning and is always looking forward to growing as a professional and doing “Whatever It Takes” so that our students will be successful in school and later on in college. I learned this from my great teachers from YES who were always finding new and better ways to teach a lesson. I remember asking one of my teacher if planning was pretty much done for her since she’s been teaching this subject for a few years now. Her response, “. . . We don’t stop looking just because we got the right answer one way.” That left me realizing that we’re always learning and there’s always another or even better way at finding a solution.

    Posted by Anh Nguyen | July 8, 2013, 1:32 pm
  135. This excerpt was spot-on to what a great teacher should be; setting high standards, but showing and fostering knowledge in our students as to how to achieve those goals. After some experience teaching, I have learned that it’s extremely easy to tell a student to do something, but crucial to give that student the tools to take on that challenge.

    In “Mindset”, I loved the definition of a teacher as someone who believes that every student has the capability of growth and talent and that they too continue to have a passion for learning. I think as an educator, we must be open to the idea that EVERY student is different; from who their parents are, to the ideals taught at home, to the friends they have outside of school. All of these factors will have contributed to who the student is at the moment. I have encountered students, who like in the article, refuse to do work. As a teacher we can take two routes. The first, give-up and think this kid simply doesn’t care about school, or two take the time to figure out why the student is having those feelings in your class. With that in mind, I am beyond excited to meet every individual student I will teach, and not only begin to learn more about the student body, but about what I must do to ensure all students and growing while feeling welcomed and cared for every single day.

    Posted by Melissa Lopez | July 8, 2013, 2:32 pm
  136. Based on my previous experiences teaching math through teaching internships and field placements, I have found that there are often several students in each class that have a fixed mindset when it comes to mathematics and these students tend to believe that they are not good in mathematics. They believe that it is not possible for them to improve their understanding of mathematics. As a math teacher, it saddens me to hear students say this at such a young age (I worked with elementary and middle school students).

    I have found that my students’ fixed mindsets posed challenges in teaching them, and it takes time to shift their mindsets from fixed to growth. In a six-week teaching internship that I had last summer, I strived to help my students develop a growth mindset in my classroom after reading an excerpt from Carol Dweck with our staff; however, it was challenging to help shift students’ mindsets in such a short period of time. I am committed to improving in this area as a first year teacher. I hope to develop ways to foster a growth mindset within each one of my students and learn some techniques through our training that will help me to promote a growth mindset. I think this will help students to move from “I am not good at math,” or “I can’t do this” to “I can do this!” By committing myself to this goal, I think it will help my students meet the high expectations that I set for them and see themselves as “mathematicians.”

    Posted by Erin Galvin | July 8, 2013, 3:02 pm
  137. The major take away message that I got from the Mindset excerpt is that teachers should always remain positive, open-minded, and determined to inspire students to mature emotionally and intellectually. As a teacher, it is important that I never give up on my students regardless of their resistance to learning or cooperating. I am committed to instilling the skill sets my students need to achieve their goals. In order to do this, I must commit myself to being updated on cutting-edge teaching methods and new knowledge in and out of my field.

    One of my biggest challenges will be to entice students to learn about biology. Many students come into the classroom with the mindset that science is too hard or too complex and give up before they even try to grasp the concepts. One of my goals is to make science relatable to my students, which hopefully that will encourage them to be more excited to learn about science. As a result, I anticipate that my efforts will enable my students to excel in school and enable them to excel in their future endeavors.

    Posted by Hoang-Anh (Bina) Dao | July 8, 2013, 3:40 pm
  138. I am always looking to improve as a teacher. I love social studies and I want to learn new ways to help my students learn to love social studies the way I do. In a social studies classroom we are constantly learning about different cultures, different ideals, different values, histories of our ancestors and the ancestors of our peers. If I can help students make connections with the content, I can help them make connections with all the different people that will cross their paths. I want to create difficult test and I want to prepare my students to excel on them. I would love to have a classroom where all of my students make A’s but not because I set low expectations for them, but because I set high expectations and I took the necessary steps to prepare them to be successful. The excerpt really made me think of fun fare soccer, where no one keeps score and everyone is a winner. A lot of times, I’m sure there are exceptions but the majority of the time those leagues are being coached by coaches that do not take the necessary time and practice to better their players. Our education should not be fun fare schooling, it should be a competition with the school itself to make sure all students are excelling and are prepared for the real world. I am pumped to to learn new ways to reach out to my students and help them open their minds so that they can contribute great ideas to our society.

    Posted by Daniel Martinez | July 8, 2013, 3:42 pm
  139. After reading the excerpt from Mindset, it really encouraged me to really care for my students in the future. I have met so many people and teachers who have a fixed mind. But after reading the excerpt, it showed me that if I am every tempted to think in such a way, or if people ever try to convince me of the stereotypes, I need to run away from them as far as possible because they are not true.

    It also reminded me that life is a constant learning experience and it when we refuse to grow and learn, we stop really living and enjoying life. It reminded me of the first couple months when I first started working at YES Prep, I had learned so many things about kids, myself, and discipline.

    Also I learned from the excerpt that to be an effective teacher is not only about being nice and caring nor is it about being only disciplined, but a balance of both. Kids need to be disciplined but at the same time want to know that a teacher cares about them and their future.

    And lastly, the excerpt reminded me that I should not be just throwing information at students to take in, but to that I need to help them to be able to learn and think for themselves for when they get out of my classroom.

    Posted by Van Ho | July 8, 2013, 4:01 pm
  140. I think teacher mindset is one of the most important factors in student success. I saw first hand during my student teaching experience how teachers with a fixed mindset created a judging atmosphere. It was the drastic difference between the teachers I worked with during my observations and the growth minded teachers I worked with at KIPP that lead me to seek a school with High standards. The judgmental atmospheres I observed through my education classes made school miserable for students who weren’t the brightest. Many by the time I observed them had checked out completely and given up on school and perhaps the worst part was the fact that their teachers accepted this fate. This is why a growth mindset is vital to a productive classroom environment, students need to know you care about them and will help them succeed.

    Posted by Alyssa (Allie) Davis | July 8, 2013, 4:19 pm
  141. As a first year teacher, in general, I am committed to continue my learning and growing. I don’t want to rest on what I have already learned. I want fresh and new information to continue to expand my brain.

    As a first year PE teacher, I have to admit I’ve been nervous. Kids these days don’t really like structured activities, and some of them don’t care for physical activities at all. But I am committed to changing that! I am committed igniting a passion for physical activities. Like the teachers from the excerpt, I will set high standards and make sure each one of my students achieves the goal, no matter what their attitude is in the beginning.

    I believe my commitment will help students achieve in other classes and in life. I believe that once a child achieves a goal that they once thought was unachievable, they unlock a world of new challenges to overcome, and the mentality that they can do anything!

    Posted by Courtney Jacobs | July 8, 2013, 5:16 pm
  142. The environment of a classroom very much sets the tone of student success or failure. It is, in fact, (in my opinion) the most important ingredient to student success or failure. Having high expectations for your students is one thing, but supporting them and encouraging them is another. Lowering expectations so that your students can succeed is a poor excuse of a teacher and feeling that a student who can’t read at his/her grade level is a waste of the teacher’s time is wrong. That is the teacher’s job – to learn how to teach all students. I am going to definitely use the phrase from this excerpt every day with my students – “You must help me help you. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.”

    I feel that it is also my job to be an advocate of learning what motivates my students. Math or not, every student has a place where they feel they belong and they are talented in. I feel that once a student is driven and motived by this one thing, they learn habit and discipline from wanting to be the best at it and this good habit and discipline carries over to other aspects of their life. I agree with DeLay that talent is a quality that can be acquired. If an individual learns something new and enjoys it they may practice it and enjoy practicing it and become very good at this thing. I believe this to hold true for a physical talent (basketball, playing an instrument, etc.) and intellectual talent (math, reading, political science).

    Posted by Melissa Siptak | July 8, 2013, 5:39 pm
  143. I loved so many things about this excerpt, but what I really took away from it was how a teacher learns WITH their students. I liked the part when a teacher tells students he is, “no smarter than they are–just more experienced.” That, “…a good teacher is one who continues to learn along with the students.”

    I think this is so powerful, and will set the tone for a classroom that has “an atmosphere of trust, not judgment.”

    When I have my own classroom, I hope to have a banner or sign that states, “We are ALL students, and we are ALL teachers. We have as many teachers as we have students.” Or something along those lines… I can’t wait to learn from my future students, and hope that I can teach them a thing or two, too!

    Posted by Bonnie McGuire | July 8, 2013, 7:16 pm
  144. This article reminded me of my core value and why I am here. I am here to learn with my students. Being I have never taught and I am experiencing this for the first time, I am growing with them. I believe it is important in life, especially in my new profession, to really be able to grow all the time. I have never been one to be complacent with where I am, and this articule reiterates just how important that is. I want my students to feel respected and they are getting my very best at all times. I want them to push me just as much as I push them. Keeping that standard high and ensuring my students know their potential is so key. I keep a high standard for myself, and I want my students to see that as well. Keeping that growth mindset is something I bring myself back to everyday and earnestly work towards, and this article truly just reminded me of why I am here for that very reason: to grow as an individual, WITH my students.

    Posted by Alexa Marie RUiz | July 8, 2013, 7:31 pm
  145. This excerpt provided me with the opportunity to do some severe self evaluation. I found that my confidence in myself and my teaching abilities is what scares me the most about being a first time teacher. I find myself wondering “What if my students realize that I have no clue what I’m talking about? Will they take advantage of me? Will they learn from me? What will I learn from them?” These things make me weary but also encouraged to make sure I am fully prepared and ready to meet the challenge. I realize that all along I have had a growth mindset. This was instilled in me while I was in school and was an athlete. There was never a moment that I wasn’t learning or growing in some way from things I learned in the classroom and on the field.

    I’m committed to becoming an open minded and growth minded teacher that continually builds leadership, communication and knowledge to reach the students. Through my commitment they will be able to model their actions in the classroom and out after what they take from me. Being a well rounded teacher that the students can use as a guide of what being successful and committed to learning looks like is my goal for my first year as a teacher.

    Posted by Clarence Davis | July 8, 2013, 8:22 pm
  146. I appreciate the idea of raised expectations that the featured teachers had for their students. I firmly believe that every child should be held to the highest standards, as they deserve that respect. Telling our students explicitly what we expect from them shows them that we have faith in them, and it is an essential part in building up every child’s sense of self. As a teacher, it is my greatest ambition to instill in my students a sense of self worth and ability.

    Posted by Bianca Dávila | July 8, 2013, 8:49 pm
  147. I am really looking to improve my lesson plan and activity building skills. Also, I am really looking to build my ability to create feasible, challenging steps which align with objectives for my students. Finally, I want to continue to make a commitment to set really high expectations and, more importantly, never become complacent and always uphold those expectations from Day 1 until the last day of school.

    Posted by Daniel A. Lopez | July 8, 2013, 9:52 pm
  148. It is rare to find a discussion that goes beyond explaining how to become a great teacher by explaining why you would even want to! In this excerpt, I appreciate where the author explains why it would be boring for us to be “fixed-minded” teachers. We always want to do what is best for our kids, but it’s nice to be reminded of the benefits we can reap from our callings as teachers. I absolutely believe in the “growing teacher” mindset. It does not only keep you invigorated for teaching, but helps with building relationships with the kids too. Humility goes a long way with struggling learners, and reminding them you are learning along with them is a great starting point.

    One of the most exciting things about becoming an English teacher is that I get to read books in ways I have never read them before. It’s my job to study the classics and constantly invent new approaches to the text. I plan to work on this aspect the most in teaching. I also plan to constantly seek better ways to be nurturing but a “no-nonsense” teacher at the same time. I can see myself using the saying from the excerpt that states: “I am not smarter than you, just more experienced.” That’s exactly how I feel and hope to reach my students in a fresh way with that outlook.

    Posted by Kellie Denison | July 8, 2013, 11:23 pm
  149. My impression from the exerpt is that the entire morale of the classroom and the success of every individual inside of it will be determined by the mindset of the teacher. Truthfully, at first thought, it places an almost daunting assignment at hand for me. After careful consideration, I find the task exhilarating. I will need to remove all fear and doubt from myself in order to be the best teacher I can for my students. I am thrilled that the common traits from great teachers that were mentioned was possessing a growth-mindset and a passion for learning. This exerpt gives me confidence that I can become a great teacher as long as I continue to have a humble mindset inspired by learning, strive to better myself daily, and keep the standards high for every student while maintaining their trust. I realize as a teacher I will never have all of the answers, but I can always search for and create innovative solutions for my students. I am committed to improving my ability to form a meaningful relationship with each and every student in the classroom. Through that relationship together we will be able to eliminate any barrier to the student reaching self actualization.

    Posted by Christian Randolph | July 9, 2013, 1:37 am
  150. I was so encouraged by the example of Marva Collins, whose story was highlighted in “Mindset”. The four year olds at her school were required to read by Christmas, the seven year olds had required reading of the Wall Street Journal, and so on. Not only did Ms. Collins create the ‘challenge’, but she implemented the ‘nurturing’ as well. These two go hand in hand, as I doubt very much that the four year olds would have been reading without firm dedication, love, patience, and nurturing from those teachers and parents! This is true at every age level. It encouraged me particularly because I have been struggling with what to include in my lesson plans: I had been asking myself, “Is this too advanced for my students?” The article really helped me to realize that this question falls to the wayside when you have a mindset of growth. You can set a challenge for students to reach without thinking of it as being too advanced; instead, it is “possible”! We have a start in mind, and an end in mind, and the goal is to create the stepping stones in between. I’m confident that we can!

    Posted by Mary-Moore Lowenfield | July 9, 2013, 2:01 am
  151. One of the initial replies to this article touched on the idea of content-area fears. As a writing teacher, I find this tremendously meaningful. Not only is there so much for me to still learn about the art of writing as a subjective topic, but there is also much for me to learn about how to break that skill down for students into something objective. I certainly have anxiety about how much I know about my content area. However, I will inhibit my students’ progress if I do not take the time to improve and practice my own writing outside of the classroom; I will also inhibit student progress if I don’t give students objective goals in writing. Like Dweck stresses, it’s my job as a teacher to not only set high expectations for my students, but to also give them a path to reach them. I am committed to doing this through learning more about the subject that I teach and the way I will teach it and, in the process, hopefully overcoming my anxiety about the subject.

    Posted by Paige Hryszko | July 9, 2013, 7:06 am
  152. What I took away from this excerpt is when Collins looked back on when she started as a teacher. She promised her students that they would learn. “Welcome to success” she said to her students, it was a positive first day not one of rules, regulations and homework. She had a view of her student’s future and it was a bright one. That is what I want for my classroom environment. Someplace where my students can flourish and reach their potential. Having fun while learning should be fun and can be. I have made the most boring subjects fun during my time as a teacher. If the teacher is excited and passionate students will pick up on that and become excited too.

    Posted by Cassie Caccavo | July 9, 2013, 8:43 am
  153. High standards are essential. When I was fresh out of UT I started working part time as a tutor for AVID. This was one of the first experiences that allowed me to really teach students one on one. It also set my baseline for my approach to education, teaching, counseling, and advising. While working there, my lead teacher started by telling us the basis for AVID and how it worked. They told us about the experiment done with students and teachers where one group of teachers where told their students had tested high and another group was told they were average; the “high” group achieved higher simply because of the mindset the teachers had when working with the students. While training we learned about the instruments we needed to provide the students to reach their goals. “Is there a way to set standards high and have students reach them?” In AVID, we focused on giving the students those tools needed to reach high expectations. We taught them how to take Cornell notes, how to study, provided mentors and tutors of students just like them that had made it to college. This job gave me a lot of background and basis for working with students. Before I started working as a college advisor, I had already set my mindset to a growth mindset. My moto has always been, It’s not about how smart you are, it’s about how hard you work and which decisions you make. Another part of the reading that touched close to home was about the learning process. I love to learn and the learning process is part of my passion, I hope that will help me set high standards for my students. “There’s an assumption,” he said “that schools are for students’ learning. Well, why aren’t they just as much for teachers’ learning?” I had ideas about this concept, but I love how it was enumerated here.

    Posted by Susana Velis | July 9, 2013, 9:03 am
  154. One point that stood out to me in this article is the importance of showing students how much they have grown and learned. I would like to find specific examples of teachers that have used this method in their classroom and incorporate it into mine. This idea reminded me of the video from Teach Like a Champion because the teacher times the students when they are passing their papers. I think this might be a small example of displaying to students how much progress they are making, even with the simple day-to-day tasks.
    The second idea that I took away from the article, is the statements made of how “teachers hide their own lack of ability.” I believe it is extremely important to keep experimenting and using your recourses to help each student learn in his or her own way. I think having a positive mindset when trying new approaches is key.

    Posted by Carlisle Gillock | July 9, 2013, 10:35 am
  155. One of the things that stood out the most to me was the focus on showing students HOW they were going to meet high expectations. I appreciated the candid discussion on the amount of planning that’s necessary for students to engage in academically rigorous content. The more teachers understand how THEY can teach our kids how to meet high standards, the further we’ll be able to push them.

    I also really enjoyed the way that conversations between teachers and students were modeled. I personally struggle with student investment, and the dialogue really helped me imagine what a conversation would look like.

    Finally, I was really struck by the portion of the article that emphasized how teachers need to have a growth mindset for their students and themselves. The two are not mutually exclusive, and the build off of each other.

    Posted by Austyn | July 9, 2013, 12:06 pm
  156. Even though I have already taught math for a year and a half now, I kind of want to “start over” in my way of teaching. I didn’t have any sort of mentorship or personalized feedback during my first teaching experience, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to with YES Prep! I loved the idea of even announcing to my students that “I’m no smarter than you are, just more experienced”. I want to be a facilitator of learning, and continue to learn myself! If this means totally revamping what I got from my first teaching experience, then so be it.

    Posted by Ren Kiser | July 9, 2013, 12:51 pm
  157. My biggest take-away from the Growth Minded teachers excerpt was that teachers often feel like lowering the standards will give students a boost of confidence. I have seen this done so many times. It only brings the student down in the end. As a new teacher, I will be committed to creating an environment that is conducive to learning and one that also challenges my students. I want students to leave the classroom with questions each day, ideas that are lingering with them that they look forward to exploring.
    I also appreciated the article for noting that parents are just as much teachers as the classroom teachers are, Sometimes it can be easy for the parents to drop the child off at 8am and leave the duties up to us until 4pm. However, when the parents understand that we must work together as a team to support each other and continue to tackle the educational and developmental obstacles then that is when the child will begin to flourish.

    Posted by Prestal M. | July 9, 2013, 1:25 pm
  158. The section of the “Mindset” excerpt that really resonated with me was the idea that a classroom needs to have “an atmosphere of trust, not judgment.” As teachers, our own mindset needs to be, “‘I’m going to teach you,’ not ‘I”m going to judge your talent.'” Standardized tests are so ingrained within the educational culture, it can be easy to look at students’ data and simply see numbers and statistics rather than the students themselves. There is so much pressure on both teachers and students to perform, it isn’t all that surprising when the focus becomes more on bringing a “bubble kid” up three points (or making sure they don’t go down three points). During student teaching, listening to these kinds of conversations between teachers and educational testing experts was so commonplace, I came to expect it every time we had a grade level meeting. I didn’t really have a name for what was going on until reading this “Mindset” piece. What was really happening was that students were subjected to an an atmosphere of judging and their learning wasn’t really all that important. Certain students were being pulled out of class to work with a special tutor because they were on that bubble between proficient and below proficient, and they needed to be brought up to proficient. However, what’s happening more subtly and more damagingly is that another group of students, those not being pulled out of class, are being told, “You’re not good enough,” or “There’s no hope of bringing you up, so we’re not even going to bother.”

    As teachers, it is our job not only to rid ourselves of the “fixed mindset,” but also to help our students rid themselves of that mindset as well. Students are told yes or no, right or wrong throughout their educational careers. They’re told, you’re good at math or you’re weak in English because this state test you took in third grade tells me so, and these tests have more of an impact than we think. It is so disheartening to sit down with a student and have them immediately tell you, “I’m not good at writing papers,” or, “I’ve never been very good at reading.” Regardless of who or what told them they’re not good at something, it is our job to help them see that they aren’t bad at something, they just haven’t learned how to do something yet. We have to help them see their own potential, and that starts with our own adoption of the growth mindset. If we see the unlimited potential in our students, hopefully one day they will see and realize that potential in themselves as well.

    Posted by Caroline W. | July 9, 2013, 1:26 pm
  159. I love the concept of the growth mindset! It literally all begins with the mindset. If educators are not willing to grow or create growth, then they need to reevaluate their purpose in education. As teachers, we are constantly seeking to grow ourselves and our students! In order to achieve that, we must continually push the boundaries of our standards. Mediocrity and maintaining the status- quo are not acceptable. By remaining within the growth mindset, teachers will be able to see and understand students more clearly. The belief that anything is possible within the classroom removes the environment of judgement. Judgement is such an easy trap to fall into for educators! It is so easy to dismiss high standards when a student has been “judged” to be less intelligent. Unfortunately, I come from a school where that was the predominant mindset. Students were not allowed to grow and learn because they were deemed “educationally challenged”. This mindset cannot continue if teachers are going to make a difference. The idea of a growth mindset is a welcomed refresher, and is one that I will carry with me into my teaching career.

    I absolutely agreed with many of the aspects presented with each of the different model teachers. Teaching is a relational process. Students cannot successfully grow without love, encouragement, care, support, and a selfless mentor. I loved how detailed each of the teachers were willing to be with their lesson planning. Presentation and format is key to successfully reaching many students! I also really appreciated the fact that each of these teachers was a learner. I believe that learning is a life-long continual process that should be enjoyed by everyone…especially teachers! I am excited to see the transformation that the growth mindset can bring to education!

    Posted by Addison Feind | July 9, 2013, 1:28 pm
  160. You will meet and see an array of people and children with many different issues. Give them hope, focus on their future and don’t give up on them, Differentiate your lesson plans to offer solutions to all level learners. Be honest, truthful and nurturing while still setting high standards and providing a guided pathway so the students can achieve them.

    Posted by Keiria McCoy | July 9, 2013, 2:06 pm
  161. For me, the most important phrase in this excerpt was “an atmosphere of trust.” In my work with high school and college students, I have found that it only takes one – one person that a student trusts is looking out for him or “has his back.” Even with problem students who seem to not care, it may take a little more time, but students are willing to work for you once they realize that you care about them. Once trust is established, students are willing to work for you – they want to make you proud of their achievements. I also appreciated the point about teaching being a “deep personal commitment to every student.” This is how I have tried to approach my career in education, whether inside a classroom or not. Working with students is about helping people – helping the students, helping their parents, helping their siblings. Being personally committed to every student individually takes time and effort, but it is essential for better establishing that atmosphere of trust and enabling students to be successful.

    I love the term “growth-minded” teachers. After reading this excerpt, I feel like it is easier for growth-minded teachers to raise expectations because they by nature have already taught their students the value of their education and what they are learning in the classroom. Similarly, I think raising standards is important for educational accountability in students, and by understanding the value of education, students are better equipped to be held accountable for their education. As a teacher, it is my job to be truthful with my students and be intentional about equipping individual students with the tools needed to be successful in my classroom and in college.

    Posted by Casey Wroten | July 9, 2013, 2:20 pm
  162. As a new teacher coming out of the business world, I am committed to improving my ability to articulate ideas in well crafted lesson plans. I am fascinated by the role communication plays in interpersonal relationships and realize I have so much to learn about effective teaching strategies.

    My ability to reach my students greatly impacts their experience at YES. Middle school can be rough; I already feel the connection and compassion for this age group. As a teacher, advocate, role model and leader, my commitment to excel at lesson planning will help them realize and achieve their own potential.

    Posted by Michelle Lenzen | July 9, 2013, 2:40 pm
  163. “If students didn’t play in tune, it was because they hadn’t learned how.” This is the mantra I live by, the essence of where we are all coming from. The student who is a “handful,” “lazy,” or “impossible” is typically the one who buries themselves deep in our hearts, beyond the frustration, and becomes titled that special, magical term that ignites our entire being: “challenge.”

    “Delusion is not the answer… Someone has to tell students when they are behind, and lay out a plan of attack.”
    A plan-of-attach is full of hope. A plan takes time, effort, and perseverance. To offer praise is simple, easy, and often fun. Essentially, however, to have a student’s best interest in mind is right. Reality, paired with a plan, can be just as hopeful – if not more so, than delusional praise.

    This article reiterates the idea that doing what is right is not always easy, but is always worth it. So glad to be part of a family that is willing to give 100% every day and do whatever it takes.

    Posted by Ashley Lyon | July 9, 2013, 2:52 pm
  164. I am so extremely thankful to be a part of a school that is sharing these kinds of thoughts, views and challenges to us teachers. I greatly desire to be a “growth-minded” teacher and have high standards as well as a nurturing atmosphere in my classroom. Right now I’m struggling with figuring out how to have high standards and yet scaffold and differentiate for all my students. I am very excited to continue reading more and more materials like this excerpt and gain more training and insight in how to actually see this displayed in our classrooms.

    Posted by Ashley Hill | July 9, 2013, 2:53 pm
  165. At the beginning on the article, it states that lowering standards does not work in the fact that it does not help students achieve higher goals. If anything it stunts the students growth in achieving their goals. Reaching these goals begins with the teachers and begins when teachers set the higher standards. A teacher has to not only teach the students but nurture them as well. As a teacher we have to be “grow-minded” and help students grow intellectually and personally. I loved the thinking of “I am going to teach you” not “I am going to judge you”. As teachers, if we judge, the student can and will shut down. I also loved where it was stated that students are not just there to learn but teachers as well. Teachers cannot be “fixed-minded”, but need to be “growth-minded” as well. The “fixed-mindset” is a judgmental mindset and it will not help the teacher grow and will certainly not help the students grow.

    Posted by Cassandra Malork | July 9, 2013, 3:01 pm
  166. I think everyone agrees that teachers need to care about their students. However, the things that stood out to me were the strategies used to impact the students while maintaining a caring relationship. It was interesting how real the teachers were with their students. The options for the students were either to succeed in the classroom and set them up for a positive future, or do nothing continue down the road they were headed. The teachers didn’t allow for a grey area and soon neither did the students. They were loving but strong about the students’ options.

    Posted by Rachel Carawan | July 9, 2013, 3:09 pm
  167. I don’t think their will be a person who will tell you that not caring about a student helps them out in the long run. I feel that it is obvious that caring teachers will ultimately have a stronger impact on their students’ lives. With this being said, the challenge is then understanding your students and their motivations. The biggest thing I took away from this article was not to sugar coat things. Students should understand their situation and thus, understand the repercussions of their actions. I feel that the following two weeks will help me improve on being an educator. I will then have the tools to spark change within my students.

    Posted by Jessica Treviño | July 9, 2013, 3:09 pm
  168. I really enjoyed this article because it discussed how even students with major behavior problems who initially demonstrated no interest in school eventually became avid learners. I have heard many people (including some teachers) that have said that the only way to get students to respect you is to be fierce and strict all of the time. I really appreciate that the article reveals that teachers did the opposite to make their students successful. Rather than raising their voices or punishing uncooperative students, the teachers consistently encouraged them that they could be successful if they took an active role in their academic lives. Furthermore, the teachers demonstrated love and respect towards them and this resulted in the students having greater confidence in themselves.

    This was a very powerful message for me. In many schools where certain students are abandoned or sent home by teachers for behavior problems, these students consistently receive the message that they are not wanted nor valued in that school. As a result, these students become more disconnected in school and less motivated to cooperate in class. However, if they receive attention for doing the right things in school and/or establish a personal relationship with their teacher they are more likely to be more engaged in their academics.

    Posted by Gabriela Sposito | July 9, 2013, 3:37 pm
  169. I liked how this article presented a growth-mindset.

    It’s very important to be open-minded and not see things in a narrow way. Often times when a student doesn’t learn something, we are quick to blame the student. While in some cases this is true, we often times forget the teacher. If I have a student who isn’t learning one way, I am going to do everything I can to make sure I find a way to get him to learn. The excerpt said it beautifully, It’s almost like a challenge to find a way to get a student to learn. As teachers, we should love this challenge. We should be driven by it. We are here to make our kids successful in any way possible.I believe having that relationship with you students by admitting you don’t know everything is very important. The more human you seem, the more the kids will see students can teachers aren’t that different from each other.

    I don’t love teaching, I love learning. Such a great motto. 🙂

    Posted by Matthew Gamble | July 9, 2013, 3:48 pm
  170. While I am a very principled person, I don’t believe that I have many, or really any, mantras that “I live by.” But if there is one, then it is to learn something new everyday. One of my favorite things to do is learn, and I sincerely strive to learn something interesting and meaningful every single day. For this reason, the passage from Mindset really resonated with me. I absolutely see the value in growth, but not just growth, because that’s fairly redundant to say that growth is valuable, but rather, I see the tremendous value in a growth-mindedness. It should simply be something that we expect of ourselves, to avoid stagnation and irrelevance, and as educators, it should absolutely be something that we expect of our students. Can we really say that we are having a positive impact on students if they are not growing, learning, and being challenged everyday. And I don’t just mean in the content area. They should learn and grow outside of the classroom through challenges, because of failures, because of dependence on others, because of discovering the power of sheer will-power. The best way to do this and instill it in our students is not just to admonish them to do so, but to truly model and embody it ourselves. It is a mindset that is good for you and good for your students.

    Posted by Aaron King | July 9, 2013, 4:07 pm
  171. For me what resonated most in this article was the level of honesty teachers applied. It seems simple to say, but naming and admitting a problem emerges as the first step in working towards a solution. Admissions of gaps- whether in reading scores, effort, or the performance of previous schools- lead to honest appraisals of how to move forward. This connected to some observation I did in high schools in Chicago, where I was caught off guard by public challenges given to students about transcending the expectations that would typically accompany their backgrounds or neighborhoods. It seems to me that the growth mindset is grounded in admitting to ourselves and our students the challenges we face, and then laying out a plan for moving beyond them. Vital in all of this, then, is establishing a connection with students that says, “There’s work to do, and I’m here to help you do it.”

    Posted by Matthew Richardson | July 9, 2013, 4:32 pm
  172. I can only hope to mimic the mindsets and attitudes of teacher like Collins, Delay, and Esquith…
    When I read this quote from Marva Collins, “I don’t know what St. Peter has planned for me, but you children are giving me my heaven on earth,” I thought (and wrote in the margin): I have chosen the best profession ever ☺. And that’s a mindset I will work to keep throughout all my years of teaching.
    I’m not worried that I won’t love my students or care about them; I know that I will. I also love feedback and criticism, mainly because I don’t put enough trust in myself or my abilities, but also, because I am ready to grow and help my students grow. I want to think like Dorothy DeLay, for whom “teaching was about watching something grow before her very eyes. And the challenge was to figure out how to make it happen.” I am afraid of failure just as much as students are, so we must all face it and, grow from it, together. Because how can I expect my students overcome their fears, or be interested in learning, if I’m not?
    Rafe Esquith who tells his students “he is no smarter than they are – just more experienced.” I cannot wait to express this truth to my students, creating the classroom mindset that we are all learning together, everyday.

    Posted by Kathleen Hickey | July 9, 2013, 4:45 pm
  173. Brilliant stuff. What hit me the most was the level of pure love and compassion Collins gave to her students, no matter how disrespectful their attitudes seemed to be. She didn’t simply raise her voice and send him off to the principal, she stopped, gave him a quick moments of hard truth, than followed-up with a, “But don’t worry, you’re going to succeed in this classroom and in life, and I’m going to help you do that.” She commanded respect, but also gave it. She didn’t care that some of the students previously used pencil sharpeners to cut things, or that they come from disturbingly broken homes. She gave them a welcoming enviornment to learn and feel safe, and that is a HUGE stepping stone to conquer. I can only hope that I can bring that much positive energy and growth-minded mantality to my PE class, so that my students know I here to help each one of them succeed. Great stuff!

    Posted by Amy Machemehl | July 9, 2013, 5:04 pm
  174. This article truly gets to the bottom of the difference between teachers who truly impact their students and those who do not. I completely agree with the author on having high expectations for all students, even those who are not at the top of the class. Only when educators have the mindset that all children will learn and have a growth mindset can we make sure that we are providing the best possible education for our children.
    I also agree with the author on that we need to have the mindset that we have to care for all of our students. In my experiences at the end of the day it has always been the relationship that I have built with my students that allowed them to perform in class whether academically or behaviorally. Thus I think it is so important for all teachers to take the time to develop relationship with all of her students especially those who need extra motivation.

    Posted by Christina Li | July 9, 2013, 5:13 pm
  175. This excerpt got me really excited about teaching. In every student, there is a desire to learn, whether they know it or not. I loved hearing the stories about the teachers who came down to the students level, and let them know they cared about them enough to push them to understand the incredible talents they have. I think setting high standards is easy, but it takes passion and desire to keep those students held accountable to to the standards that are before them, and to challenge them in many different ways to produce their best. I loved how Collins never gave up on her students, even when the student stopped caring or believing in theirself.

    Posted by Nick Woodruff | July 9, 2013, 5:47 pm
  176. Dweck’s article brings to light the fulcrum of teaching: the appropriate “mindset.” Education begins in the classroom, not the district offices; thus, lowering standards simply won’t generate success. It seems that in most classrooms today, teachers simply teach students enough to pass rather than doing what Collins did and having them understand what they read. Collins’s approach, also, had to do with her statement that if one doesn’t “give,” one shouldn’t “expect” anything.

    In my class, I will implement the examples presented in Dweck’s article. It would be a dream if students beg me for more Shakespeare! As Dweck highlights, this experience begins with the implicit contract between teacher and student. The latter will strive to work if he or she feels both nurtured and challenged by the former. This model will serve me well in the classroom, where I can also strive to create that environment of “trust” that Dweck mentions.

    Essentially, the teacher serves as the key facilitator of “growth” in the classroom. After reading Dweck’s article, I am confident that having the “growth mindset” will provide for a superior learning atmosphere for my students.

    Posted by Christopher Scott | July 9, 2013, 6:02 pm
  177. This article help me realize that students and teacher are different, but also alike at the same time. Being to have a common ground of understanding will help the relationship between the student and the teacher. Part of this relationship takes a lot effort from both sides, especially helping students finding an ambition they want to explore that will make them interested in higher education. This motive will push the students towards education and teachers to guide them towards their success. Part of being a teacher is also being able to switch roles with their students in order to learn the best method to help students. If teachers and students believe that they are capable of anything and work for it there are no limits.

    Posted by Armando Patricio | July 9, 2013, 6:29 pm
  178. The excerpt helped me make sense of some of my own experiences as a student of both great teachers and uninspiring teachers. Teachers with growth mindsets placed less of an emphasis on natural talent, and pushed me to lengths that actually surprised me—lengths I didn’t think I was capable of reaching but dreamed of being able to. In college, I was taught by a Nobel prize-winning professor, but given the large nature of the class (hundreds of students), the professor was more focused on content delivery than student growth. It’s reassuring to hear that great teachers have the chance to model continuous learning to their students by learning along with their students, as I am excited to learn more about my subject and my students this year.

    Posted by Fermín Mendoza | July 9, 2013, 7:29 pm
  179. This excerpt was an interesting read because I think it takes an approach to education that is so important but sometimes becomes dismissed. The idea of setting low enough standards so that students are able to succeed is doing them just as much of an injustice as setting unrealistically high standards. It is more valuable to take a stance of growth when thinking about your classroom, rather than just looking at which students will and will not succeed. The main theme of establishing a nurturing, safe environment for learning is something i strongly agree with, and plan to implement in my classroom from day one with my students. It is first and foremost the most important thing to consider when managing a classroom. When discussing the experiences of Marva Collins, I found this quote to be very insightful, “None of you have failed, school may have failed you”. This is an interesting standpoint because she is instilling confidence and security in the students, rather than judging them for not grasping things along the way.

    Posted by chelsea jackson | July 9, 2013, 7:40 pm
  180. The message I took away from this article is that a great teacher is one who is tough yet tender. A great teacher is one who creates an environment where students feel safe to explore various possibilities in learning while discovering their strengths and weaknesses. Teaching should be a partnership with your students where the teacher is not only encouraging and empowering students to improve but peers are also holding each other accountable in their learning experiences. A great teacher challenges students to achieve higher than their own expectations especially when it seems impossible. Another takeaway from the article is that we are ALL learners. As teachers we too are mere learners and can even learn from our very own students daily. I also liked the point of great teachers telling students the truth. I believe this is key. We must not be afraid to be candid with students and keep it real. Instead of falsifying the facts we should tell it how it is and give them the tools they need to make the necessary changes to aid in their success.

    Posted by Dinah Tibbs | July 9, 2013, 8:15 pm
  181. This excerpt was a joy to read. At one point it states, “The great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are fascinated with the process of learning.” This statement thrills me about becoming a teacher because this is exactly why I went into education. I enjoy learning, and I love seeing others learn. My biggest takeaway from this excerpt was about teachers being Growth-Minded. I thought this was interesting because I immediately thought of my past teachers and one teacher stood out above the rest. This teacher was my twirling instructor during college who challenged me daily. I categorize her as a growth-minded teacher because she never judged me for not knowing how to do a trick. I remember after finishing my routine for try-outs, she sat me down and asked me why I wanted to be apart of this team. I told her because I wanted to learn more twirling and experience it in the college atmosphere. She immediately offered me a scholarship and told me, “I can teach you, I just need you to work hard and want to learn”. This woman pushed me on so many different levels and I want to be that inspiration for my future students. I relate my teacher to the three in the text and they are similar because they care and want each student to do good. I also took from this story that you want to put people in the fame of mind where they can do their best. I think that being a growth-minded teacher you need to think that every student can learn and can acquire the skills needed to succeed.

    Posted by Taylor Jett | July 9, 2013, 8:30 pm
  182. The article really solidified what the role of the teacher should be inside the classroom. Not every student is the same, so not every student will learn the same. Knowing this, it is our responsibility as teachers to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to succeed. This means that we have to constantly reinvent ourselves and be willing to learn from our students because teaching is a two-way street.

    Posted by Audiel Espitia | July 9, 2013, 8:42 pm
  183. This article was great! It was extremely moving and inspirational. I feel that I am a growth-minded individual and will bring that into my classroom as well. To read about great educators like Collins, Esquith and DeLay reaffirms my passion for pursuing a career not only in education, but especially with YES Prep.

    My biggest takeaway from this reading assignment was the notion that great teachers are also great learners. This is one of the most exciting aspects of my future classroom career. I am eager to begin the learning journey with my students as we explore science as well as develop our interests and abilities overall. I am what some would call a “people person” so it will be amazing for me to observe how my students learn. Additionally, science was not my first choice in subjects to teach. Although it is something I always enjoyed, it did not always come easy to me. I am not discouraged by this, though. In fact, I look forward to teaching my 6th graders not only the curriculum, but the learning techniques I find useful as well as gaining inspiration from theirs. Additionally, I hope to infect my students with my zest for learning beyond my classroom and into life as well.

    Posted by Regan Traister | July 9, 2013, 8:48 pm
  184. I believe as a first year teacher, we need to have more realistic goals for ourselves, but set high goals for our students. A lot of us, myself included, need to view our first year of teaching as a time to learn ourselves. It is going to be a struggle and the following year, I am sure we will be able to look back and see the amazing growth we have made. This is why I think we should treat each day as a lesson and keep our goals realistic. I have seen and heard about many people who get into teaching and burn out to quickly because of their inability to change the system. With this in mind, I think our focus should be on the 20 plus students that walk into our classroom each period and do our best to reach them. We also need to be introspective and think critically about our own teaching practices because ultimately, this will lead to more success in our classrooms and for our students.

    Posted by Jeff Bandel | July 9, 2013, 9:02 pm
  185. This excerpt was so phenomenal. It has reaffirmed my commitment to continue to push students to think beyond the status quo and onto more rigorous material. Naturally, as their teacher, it would be my responsibility to push them and take them to that level. I’m so excited to see my students grow into mature learners that are hungry for more and I’m ready to utilize all of my resources in order to make that happen.

    Posted by Akanksha Bajaj | July 9, 2013, 9:09 pm
  186. If someone came up to us and judged us based on the bad decisions or our previous past, we would get annoyed, and we would probably feel hurt. I think the same thing happens when a teacher judges a student based on their previous results. Rather than feeling bad for the student, the teacher should aim to be the teacher who makes a difference in that student’s life. Rather than giving up on him, the teacher should target him specifically and help him on the way. I think the fixed mindset thing is well put. It’s difficult to make a difference when you’ve already made up your mind before stepping out of the house.

    Another thing I really liked was “Do teachers have to love all their students? No, but they have to care about every single student.” — Could not have said it any better myself. I also like that they said that a teacher continues to grow with the students. We should all have a growing mindset.

    Nice excerpt.

    Posted by Shailee Thakkar | July 9, 2013, 9:11 pm
  187. I enjoyed this article and felt validated as a teacher. I have long believed that teachers need have a commitment to continue to learn– something that Dr. Dweck calls a “growth mindset.” How can we inspire our students to be life long learners if we are not committed to the same. I am excited by the idea that I get to work with students and be a part of their growth as students and while doing that I get to continue my own growth as a learner.

    I also know what it is like to struggle as a learner. I struggled with dyslexia growing up and didn’t learn to read until I was in the fifth grade. And only then because I had a rather perceptive teacher who realized that I was conveniently absent when it was my turn to read out loud. After a conversation with my parents– who put two and two together and realized I had been “faking my way through”– I stayed after school with her to catch up every day for the rest of the year. It was her dedication– along with that of my parents– and her unwillingness to let me slip through the cracks, that led to me aspiring to be a teacher. It also led to my life long love of learning and reading. I shutter to think what might have happened to me if she didn’t “see” me. She believed in me and because of that my life was forever changed. Dr. Dweck encourages us as teachers to set the stage for learning and to not have a fixed mindset,but to be able to recognize and challenge our students and ourselves to have a growth mindset instead.

    Posted by Julie George | July 9, 2013, 9:14 pm
  188. Reading articles like these always remind me why I am joining this work. Just like the article said, I also wholeheartedly believe that each and every single child can, and will, learn and achieve. By setting high standards in the classroom from day one I will have developed a culture of learning and growth. Throughout this journey it will be important to remind myself never to give up on a struggling student or forget the importance of student growth. I will motivate my students, and believe in them even when the doubt themselves. If my students are struggling that means I need to take a different approach as a teacher to be effective for them.

    Posted by Ashley Westhaver | July 9, 2013, 9:22 pm
  189. At the end of my third year of teaching for an after-school program, I asked my students to provide me feedback on how I can become a better teacher. One student wrote “expect less, you will gain more.” This struck a chord. It made me wonder if I had set expectations too high and not given him enough opportunities to meet them. I am a believer that all students can be taught and all students can learn but after reading this article I now know that I believed it but didn’t truly practice it. On my computer I have a statement as my display which reads ” I can always learn new things and think new thoughts” and this is a great philosophy but I am now empowered to ensure that this becomes my motto. I am looking forward to Induction so I can become a student, open myself to learning new things and understanding the struggles and successes of the process of learning. In the end, this will help me truly transform myself so that I know the path to take in order to help my students become growth-minded.

    Posted by Mehreen Tejani (@PathToKnowledge) | July 9, 2013, 10:12 pm
  190. This article both inspired me and made me a bit anxious.

    I have long believed that anyone can succeed if given the proper support. That’s why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. I myself have literally failed in the not-so-distant past and was picked back up and dusted off by a teacher not unlike the ones described in this piece. Yet, how to create the kind of atmosphere described — caring yet challenging — is still a bit mind-boggling for me.

    That said, I am committed to creating such an atmosphere in my classes and adopting more of a growth mentality. One of my goals for this coming year is to start to make greater strides in terms of my own work ethic and desire to learn — to model the behavior I hope to inspire in my students. Reading this article just made my desire to do so even greater.

    Posted by Liston P. | July 9, 2013, 10:25 pm
  191. As I prepare to head back into the classroom after just one semester of teaching under my belt, I found this excerpt inspiring and motivating (thanks TE!). I felt overwhelmed last semester at times and had doubts about my effectiveness in the classroom. This excerpt reminded me that I am actually on the right track, as I am a teacher that sees the potential and talent in each and every one of my students and am excited by the opportunity to be able to help develop that potential. Furthermore, I identified strongly with the statement about teaching being a means for the educator to be immersed in continual learning, as this is one of the aspects that drew me to the teaching field to begin with.

    This piece also reminded me of areas where I need to continue to develop as a teacher. One of my goals is to be more direct when giving individual feedback to students. I definitely found myself at times sugarcoating student feedback and this article pointed out that, “growth-minded teachers tell students the truth and give them the tools to close the gap.” This academic year, I hope to develop the tough yet nurturing persona that Collins exhibits in the classroom.

    Posted by Josephine Engels | July 9, 2013, 10:25 pm
  192. I grew up with a fixed growth mindset and it wasn’t until college that I found out there was such a term for the way I viewed learning. It was during my educational psychology class that I first learned that growth mindset individuals exist and that they actually make the best educators. Why? Well because they don’t give up on students in the learning process. They are optimistic, hopeful, and tenacious because they believe each student can grow and learn (albeit sometimes the learning happens at different rates). A second lesson I learned that semester that Dr. Dweck also brings up is showing your students unconditional love. Once the students grasp that you love them regardless of whether they pass or fail a test, they will be ready to rise up to the challenge. Creating a nurturing environment matters but teaching students HOW to reach those high standards matters just as much. Scaffolding is pivotal for students to engage their subject and feel challenged and capable (zone of proximal development). This year I will guide my students on their life-long-learning journey by telling them where their math skills will be at the end of the school year and giving them a game plan of how we are going to get there. I believe that reminding myself of the potential of each of my students and my own will enable me to embody the growth mindset Dr. Dweck advocates.

    Posted by Jelsi Cruz | July 9, 2013, 10:34 pm
  193. I agree with the comments made above by Julie George that this article really validates the efforts of a teacher. The excerpt really made me think about my experiences in both middle and high school, and helped me agree with the idea that when emphasis is placed on natural talent, limits are set on a student. Long gone should be the days of “that’s what I’m good at so that’s why I do it”. Dorothy DeLay and her “midwestern” belief that anything is possible really hit home for me and my experience so far as a teacher. She says that “if students were playing out of tune, it’s because they hadn’t learned how” and I think this serves well to preserve the message of “Growth Minded” teachers, and the power they possess when they realize and appreciate all modes of learning.

    Posted by Jose Montijo | July 9, 2013, 10:46 pm
  194. Dweck raises a lot of points that I’ve encountered in my short experience with certain education programs. I spent a few weeks assisting elementary school teachers with children who need more individual attention, and though in my experience these teachers may not have judged the children who needed extra help, they were often judgmental of kids who fell in the bottom quarter of the class in terms of current ability to perform classwork. The kids in class who could write their names and spell sight words were generally accepted as sufficiently smart to warrant attention if they asked questions. Kids who were not at the same point as their peers (performing in the bottom quarter) had their questions taken less seriously, and if they ever had an unamiable attitude towards something they were learning, teachers disregarded them. More than once the teachers discussed at lunch what students were being problematic, and instead of exploring solutions, they were mostly being critical for the sake of being critical. The things Dweck had to say about this teaching attitude was something I had seen in my experience, but I had never seen a solution. The examples of how teachers prevented the “helpless teacher” syndrome, where the blame was shoved on a student’s intellect, were refreshing.

    Posted by Matthew Hopper | July 9, 2013, 10:48 pm
  195. This article really hits home for me and seriously has impacted how I view teaching. I want all my students to be successful but I do not want to create a false sense of security by lowering standards. I insult them by doing so because I am saying, ” I don’t think you are able to meet this expectations”. Having high standards challenges my students and myself to work hard and hold each other accountable. Also, with that in mind, I have to give students the adequate tools of reaching these goals and put in my due effort. I want to encourage them with my passion for their future and their achievements.

    Posted by Jordunn Joubert | July 9, 2013, 11:06 pm
  196. This excerpt inspires me especially about the students that are difficult to teach because they refuse to participate. After reading that section, I see myself being in that teacher’s shoes. I want to help the student realize their full potential and have them realize that they can succeed if they step back and look at the world differently. This section really amazes me because these situations do happen. In the future, maybe this year or in ten years, I strive to be a teacher that help her students realize that they can succeed and love learning.

    Posted by Daquynh Ngo | July 9, 2013, 11:12 pm
  197. I really enjoyed this article and aim to continue to build myself as a teacher with a growth mindset for all of my students. Through my current experience teaching summer school I have had to stop myself from lowering standards for some children due to my knowledge of external negative factors or obstacles in my students/ lives that can seem like valid reasons for not doing well in school, not completing homework or not fully finishing an assessment. This article shows how important making sure we never lower the standards for any student is especially for that student’s academic and even social development.

    Posted by juliannaparra | July 9, 2013, 11:18 pm
  198. This article was very enlightening. I strongly agree with the statement, “Growth-minded teachers believe that all students can learn at a high level, and believe that ANYTHING is possible in their classrooms.” Teachers who hold their students accountable for the material taught in class, yield a greater breed of students. When students see teachers are their to help and provide information that will be useful not only presently, but in the future, students find it easier to stay focused and involved in classroom activities and lesson. Teachers are the glue that hold this thriving and evolving world together. As every person has been to school up until at least a certain point in his or her life, every person can attest to the fact that the right teacher who truly cares about his or her job can definitely have a profound effect on his or her students. If a teacher finds a way to engage his or her students in an interesting yet informative manner than all of this teacher’s students will certainly develop a thirst for learning and acquiring knowledge.

    Posted by Amber S. | July 9, 2013, 11:22 pm
  199. It’s amazing to read about things that I have seen and experienced. It’s amazing to read all of these blog posts and see how much some people may try to empathize and sympathize but the fact is that they will never know what it feels like to live in a community where academic achievement is not only not the norm but also something looked down upon. As educators, I hope that students walk into their classrooms with this in mind: You are not only an academic educator, you are an inspiration, a change-maker, a life-changer. You have the power to and will have a role in a person’s life regardless of whether you want to or not. The question is what kind of change do you want to have and how will you achieve it. As a student who could have easily been that statistic of pregnant, teen, mom or dealer or street gangster I can tell you one thing, no one expects for you to know what it is like or to how it feels to be like us, but to know that you genuinely care and believe in us, even when we don’t our selves makes the whole difference.

    Posted by Jasmine Gutierrez | July 9, 2013, 11:41 pm
  200. I really liked the excerpt. Having a growth mindset is something that is crucially important as a teacher. It is important for a teacher to have this sort of mindset for every single student, which was so difficult for me to do in my first weeks of teaching with only 12 students. I can imagine that this is a constant struggle, but I can also imagine the joy that hearing a student say “we do hard things here to grow our brains” brings to any teacher that feels like they played a part in making a child think that way. It is mutually beneficial, of course. I think that once that stage is set in the very beginning, students will be more engaged because they trust that whatever you do it is for their own good and for the good of their brain. This sort of relationship with students will make it so that all your students are begging you to hold them to extremely high standards, which will hold you accountable on a daily basis.

    Posted by Maria Paula Nunez | July 9, 2013, 11:48 pm
  201. Like many other readers have said, my biggest take away is that great teachers are also great learners. In the field of teaching, especially as a new teacher, there are constantly so many things to learn and adapt to. Being able to use expertise and knowledge from others is something that will allow teachers to be even more successful with their students.

    Posted by Meghan Williams | July 10, 2013, 12:09 am
  202. Before reading the article I had not considered that students believe teachers are judging their every move. Until now, I always felt like the students were judging me!

    Looking back on my spring semester, I know many students who probably felt like they were disappointing me with their grades, behavior, or both. I don’t want any student to feel like he or she is expected to perform badly based on my expectation. I need to have high expectations for all students and communicate that fact from the beginning of the semester. Part of this will be understanding the different needs of each student, and I will do my best to assess this in the first few weeks of class and makes changes as a learn more about each student throughout the year.

    I would definitely like to toss around some ideas during TE about how to create a classroom environment that is void of judgment.

    Posted by Suzanna Hill | July 10, 2013, 1:27 am
  203. “In what areas are you committed to improving?”
    In what areas should one not improve?

    One of the biggest personal challenges of entering the teaching profession was in improving my own education. A teacher’s job primarily is to teach what she knows; she is not in an environment where she is constantly learning. But a teacher has to continue to grow to be a more learned person in order to be a better teacher, and the area of growth is not limited to pedagogy. I am excited to learn more about and to practice the techniques of better teaching, but I am also committed to continuing my own reading and learning, specifically of world affairs and global trends.

    With regards to the article, I appreciated the support for being growth-minded individuals. To take on the default position of believing in potential encompasses not seeing immediate results; and I appreciate that we are encouraged to nurture students patiently while challenging them, alongside them. Believing without judging is often difficult in practice, especially for some more than for others. I fortunately tend to be more optimistic naturally, but by the same token, the aspect I will work on is in telling students the truth – which at times may hurt – and encouraging them to use the tools I will offer to close the gap. I envision delivery of both the harsh truths and expectant encouragements to come in anecdotal forms, at least for now – but I vow to be planned, tactical, and increasingly practiced in delivering the tool kits to my students.

    Posted by Jeannie Kim | July 10, 2013, 4:52 am
  204. For me this article was particularly enlightening. Although I tend to think of having high rigor in my classroom during summer institute, this article reminds me that I can always push myself to deliver more to my students through setting truly high expectations and a nurturing environment. This summer, my classroom has been full of joy, but I have come to the sad realization that I have not set high expectations in my classroom, and by proxy, have not really challenged by students to unlock their potential as leaders. Thus, I must commit to fostering an attitude of setting high expectations within myself and deliver on that each and every day.

    Posted by Sean Phoebus | July 10, 2013, 5:29 am
  205. Learning about teachers who have such powerful impacts on their students is just one of the ways that I enjoy furthering my education as a teacher. Reading about the various ways teachers like Collins and DeLay inspired their students and continued to encourage high standards provides me with goals that I hope to live up to and even surpass in my own classroom. I would like to my students to continually feel challenged while understanding that I care if they succeed. It would be amazing if they could understand that I would adore nothing more than to celebrate their success. After all, the ability to remain positive and optimistic in all situations is one of my strongest character traits. Above all though, I am determined to show that learning if also part of my job. I realize that I have to be willing to try and comprehend new ideas to truly teach well and at my best.

    Posted by Marleigh Thomas | July 10, 2013, 6:12 am
  206. Reading this philosophy of growth-minded teachers reminded me of a KIPPism displayed in every classroom, “All of us WILL Learn”. I feel that as educators, the love that we have for our students and for our profession may sometimes come off as tough love, but it is tough love that is needed. When we look at these students, they are not just kids but an individual who has invited us to their world. If you treat them with baby talk, then don’t be surprise if that is what you get back. If you treat them with high expectations, then you’ll have high expectations back.

    Posted by Hong Tran | July 10, 2013, 6:37 am
  207. I believe that all students are capable of achieving their goals and be successful. As educators, we should always push our students to high standards while guiding them and giving them the support they need. We should set high standards for all students, but at the same time we should also provide each student with individual tools that will allow him/her to be successful because what works for a student does not necessarily work for another student.

    As a special education teacher, I am constantly learning from each and every single one of my students. This past year I learned so much from each one of my students and I am definitely grateful for having them in my classroom. They taught me the real meaning of perseverance, persistence, and motivation. They are students who give up their lunch time to finish a quiz or a test. After reading the excerpt I set a goal for myself, which is to love and care for every single one of my students, just like DeLay did. I also plan on keeping my students engaged in learning by making things fun and interesting. I enjoyed reading the chapter because I was able to relate to it and learn new strategies that I can use in my classroom. Reading the chapter definitely put a smile on my face.

    Posted by Marcela Rodriguez | July 10, 2013, 7:44 am
  208. I believe this article sends a very empowering message to those who have the responsibility to instruct and build up children. Growing up I often encountered teachers that would define for themselves based on judgment those who would succeed and those who wouldn’t. It was clear to the students as well what the expectations were of them. If there were none, their response to that would be seen in the classroom. As an educator, our mindset as we teach is gravely important. Understanding the need to establish those high standards as the article states, and holding each and every student to those standards, is crucial. The opportunities provided to educators are ones that have to be taken advantage of. If we approach our students with the mindset that every one of them has potential, we will aim to push and build up that potential within that child. As children see honesty, sincerity, and investment, many will respond and we will see fruit produced in them.

    Posted by Keira Sanchez | July 10, 2013, 9:03 am
  209. Throughout this summer I have learned that teaching is a process in which you never truly 100% master. This field is all about growing and using the resources we have to do the best we possibly can for our children. We expect our children not to stay stagnant, but to grow, so we must put the same pressure on ourselves.

    Posted by Makhala Greene | July 10, 2013, 8:02 pm
  210. What most resonated with me from this reading was the “flip this switch before using” comment that one coach made in describing how his teacher had motivated him. I combine this comment with my experience in the classroom this summer as a Teach for America teacher in training at a summer school program in Houston, and I realize that flipping this switch is one of the elements I most need to work on as I go into my new career this fall. I can spend hours planning my lesson, but when I plan and administer that lesson from inside the cockpit in my brain, I fail to ignite student investment. It’s an amazing challenge. I think having a growth mindset means that you as a teacher capitalize deliberately, and every day, on learning opportunities in the classroom and with students. It also means more than just an optimistic hope for student achievement. It means expecting, demanding and tracking student growth in a concrete way. That’s one of the other things I’ll most need to work on this fall, tracking student progress. It helps to think that these teacher habits are all part of a growth mindset that transfers beyond education and to success across professions and disciplines.

    Posted by Drew Long | July 10, 2013, 9:04 pm
  211. When given high standards and the means to achieve them, students of all ages will step up to the plate. World Records are set all the time, but the Olympics come to mind. Every four years athletes come from all over the globe who have trained with a goal in mind, to win the Gold. Often time what is required to win gold is a new world record. Records are meant to be broken; so are standards. Some records today would have seem unfathomable twenty years ago.but they are continually topped. Standards act the same way, they need to continuously be raised so that students can break these “world records”

    Posted by Taylor Pratt | July 10, 2013, 9:38 pm
  212. “Great Leaders Aren’t Born, They’re Made” is the class motto for our summer school class. I got this quote from my HS band director who taught us that being great is not innate but develops over time. This is what this excerpt reminds me of. Our students are developing each and everyday and we have to always take them a step further by challenging them, not trying to maximize them or make the pathway easy for them, Instead we set high expectations and provide the opportunity for them to achieve.

    Posted by Gerthy | July 10, 2013, 11:10 pm
  213. I have been a swim coach for over ten years, and am incredibly excited to transfer over into a classroom environment and teach children. I strongly connected with the MindSet excerpt because you can set high standards for your students while creating a nurturing environment. It is extremely important that children can trust you in a classroom environment, and that they can allow themselves to feel vulnerable in your environment. I strongly agree that great teachers love to learn. Things are always evolving, and if at any point you think you are an expert in a field, you are probably falling behind by not searching out new knowledge.

    I am committed to improving my knowledge on the subject I am teaching, always searching for new ways to entice students to learn, and to never give up on any child. Every child can learn, and once you believe in them, they will start to believe in themselves. If you foster an environment of educational growth, and become a growth-minded teacher, I strongly believe that students will continue to excel and develop a lifetime passion for learning.

    Posted by Anna Tarka | July 11, 2013, 8:15 pm
  214. This was an eye-opening article. I think coming into this profession, my mindset has been characterized by the belief that my place is to impart knowledge to my students. But as this article has made me realize, over time for me this will get boring very quickly and more importantly the minds of my students will not be ignited with excitement for learning. This article has also made me realize that it is important for me to not only maintain high standards for my students, but to also maintain a growth mindset towards my students and myself. When I maintain this growth mindset towards my students and myself, not only will my students challenge themselves and be excited about learning, but I will also learn and grow alongside my students.

    Posted by Shamyra Henderson | July 13, 2013, 12:48 pm
  215. This was an inspiring article. I was struck by the idea that the teacher learns from her students. I am coming to teaching from a career in the oil industry where one of my favorite things was that I was continually learning. When I started my ACP I was intrigued by the lectures on teaching. Oh, how much there was to learn about teaching! Also, how great that I am teaching a subject that I love and want to continue to be a student of on my own. I am inspired to create a growth-minded learning environment in my classroom for everyone, myself included.

    Posted by Dana Caldera | July 14, 2013, 12:15 pm
  216. There is a dire need for great teachers. This means teachers who are growth-minded and teachers who will focus on building upon the strengths of their students. Oftentimes teachers lower the standards of students in hopes that they are doing them a favor. Instead, it is an injustice to the students. Lowering standards for students simply leads to students who are poorly educated, and thus will feel entitled to easy work and a plethora of praise for it. On the other hand, great teachers believe in the growth of their students’ intellect and talent. As a teacher, one must maintain high standards and expectations for all students.

    Posted by Andranise Richardson | July 14, 2013, 1:06 pm
  217. Something that resonnated with me in the Mindset Excerpt is that as teachers we need to be honest with our students. If we are not honest with them, wheather it be good or bad, they will never know if they are doing the right things or if what they are doing is wrong. One thing that I took away from reading this excerpt is that while we need to set high expectations for our students, we also need to give them posotive reinforcement when they are exceeding that expectation. But, when they are not exceeding the expectation we need to be specific and give them direction towards meeting the expecatation rather than just telling them they aren’t doing things right. A few key points that I made note of was that as a teacher we need to set expectations for the classroom, focus on the good aspects that students will do instead of what they shouldn’t be doing, and always let the students know when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing by giving them positive reinforcement, believe in imporvement and never giving up at any moment.

    Posted by Claudia Arana | July 14, 2013, 1:41 pm
  218. I love what Mrs. Collins does by telling her student they have to pick up the phone and call his mother because school is a place where we have to learn and Mrs. Collins said I cannot fool around, please come and pick me up.

    I like giving students the choice to participate or not and letting them know the consequences. It makes them feel more empowered and they typically choose the right choice.

    I also love the acknowledgment that it is not the students fault that they are where they are in their learning … but rather the school’s. I want to be that teacher that brings them up to speed and beyond so they can excel.

    But my question is how do I bring them up to speed to the point where they can be doing high school work in elementary school if they are already severely behind? I want to learn how!

    Posted by Allie | July 14, 2013, 3:37 pm
  219. During my student teaching experience, I had a lot of trouble fighting through the pervasive low expectations that many inner-city Nashville students faced every day, and in turn they were reinforced that school was not the route for success. Many of them turned to gangs instead, and it was heartbreaking to watch. This year, in a position with more authority, I will make sure that I believe in each student. But this belief has nothing to do with talent, but rather that if they put in the work ethic they will be able to pursue a career that they want to. This is only possible through a growth-minded outlook. It just needs to be clear that this is happening on a personal and individualized scale instead of just a generically held belief.

    Posted by Adam Franklin | July 15, 2013, 8:48 pm
  220. This was encouraging, not only for my students, but for myself. Possessing a growth mindset empowers the teacher to know that there is no such thing as failure! Setting the bar higher doesn’t mean meeting it the moment it is introduced to you – but celebrating the small steps that are taken to reach any goal that is set. When I saw my students review their CA scores, even those who scored 1s on T1 and scored a 2 on T2, because it was their growth goal, they were excited! There was a build up! They had a sense of empowerment, knowing that anything is truly possible with hard work and devotional dedication! It encourages me because it reassures me that my students will always be successful – they’re constantly and progressively growing! That is what truly matters! That lights up my world, as an educator and as a human being. A score does not determine whether or not you’ve grown – it is not s definite representation of your intelligence. Growth, on the other hand, shows that you’ve achieved and sought out ways to move from one level to the next.

    Great read!

    Posted by Jasmine Umenyi | July 16, 2013, 9:15 am
  221. I enjoyed reading this article. It reminded me of the “why” people go into teaching. We understand that at times, this is one of the most demanding things we will ever do. Our deadlines are demanding of our time, our students are demanding of our knowledge, their parents are demanding of our ability to relay that knowledge and the demands list continues on and on. In the midst of all the demands placed upon our lives, we forget that the reason why we started teaching was to watch students’ minds grow. One particular line that hit home was where the teacher mentioned the idea of learning and discovering. Not all our students are cut from the same cloth. They all have a different way to learn. Some require more time and more patience than others, but this doesn’t mean that they are limited or cannot learn at all. I will keep this fresh so that when I encounter that student that may have given up on him/herself, I won’t fall easily into the same trap and can show that there is an advocate on his/her side. I will push my students by being strict and nurturing. Watching them grow and develop.

    Posted by Lily M | July 16, 2013, 10:45 am
  222. I have always had a passion for math and that may be mostly due to the fact that it comes easy to me. However, it is important to consider when teaching it that not everyone sees things the way I do. It is important as a teacher to not just focus on teaching or what to teach but look for options to learn. AS students grow and develop as well as provide feedback, they can help you grow not only as a teacher but as an individual as well. Set in your own ways and beliefs is only helpful at times, but change is good and being open to new perspectives is always an opportunity to grow.

    Posted by Joy Garrett | July 17, 2013, 5:50 pm
  223. This was a very interesting chapter to read. I like how this chapter mentions two teachers aiming for the same goal but reaching it in two different ways. The two teachers believed that people were talented, however the one professors believed that you were born with talent while his mentee believed that it just had to be nurtured and grown. I think it’s a good mindset for all of us teachers to have. We need to see every student and child that we encounter as someone who doesn’t realize all their talents and potentials yet and to help grow it and pull it out of them. I feel in today’s society we have been told to accept whatever we’ve been told instead of thinking for ourselves so we tend to put people in boxes without giving them a chance. We forget as adults we never stop growing or learning. If we keep our minds in that concept of how we can constantly learn and grow not just from people older from us, but also our students, we will always be striving for better in our goal to help our students’ succeed. I just hope I can remember that when I have a rough/bad day, want to give up, or feeling hopeless. If not, then both of us will fail (the students and the teacher).

    Posted by Serena Cheng | July 19, 2013, 1:44 pm
  224. I was inspired by the teachers in this text. I have been reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher over Institute, and it is my goal to leverage these strengths in my classroom while focusing on my weaknesses. I am able to build positive relationships with my students easily, however my struggle is consistent behavior management. If I truly care about my students, I need to ensure that I am setting high expectations for them and consistently holding them to these high expectations. I truly believe that my students are capable of succeeding academically in my class and in order to make this happen, it is my job to create a consistent warm, yet strict environment. This article reminded me that 100% of my students must be meeting 100% of my expectations 100% of the time. My high expectations will inevitably yield to their success.

    Posted by Vida Pascual | July 20, 2013, 11:40 am
  225. As I think of the upcoming school year, one of the topics that tends to give me nervousness making the content connectable for every student. I am well aware that not every student learns in the same way and that when a lesson does not stick that there should always be effort to find a new way to help that student connect. But what I connected with well in this Mindset excerpt was that anyone can learn. My nervousness about content is helping students connect with it and finding ways to do that, not a belief that this is not possible for all students. I loved this belief that was shown by the teachers in this excerpt who not only believed that their students could learn, but that they could learn anything that any other child could, regardless of their zip and area codes. I believe that our students can achieve excellence and that we should not accept less from them or ourselves. We should always be pushing to be the best and helping each other to get there.

    Posted by David Cooper | July 20, 2013, 3:26 pm
  226. This makes me think of how teaching is a fluid profession in which educators must constantly learn and grow to better meet the needs of their students. Teachers must maintain high standards while continually focusing on engaging students. Teachers must continually focus on improvement to make progress in a system that is struggling to meet the educational needs of many sub groups of students.

    Posted by Dwayne Raiford | July 20, 2013, 11:39 pm
  227. In this excerpt, I really resonated with the notion of “Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.” Thinking back to my summer school experience, I don’t think I did a good enough job of ensuring my students that I am holding these high standards because I believe you can reach them and this is how. I set my standards high and told them I believed in them, but I really needed to focus on the ‘how’ we were going to get there. This piece has really pushed me to think about the means I am going to use to push my students to these high expectations.

    Every student can be successful and can reach these goals, but as teachers we all must recognize the importance of showing and modeling our students how we see them achieving these exceptionally high standards.

    Posted by Emily Natoli | July 21, 2013, 9:18 am
  228. I can already tell that having a growth mindset 100% of the time for 100% of students in the coming years will be an area I will have to work hard at to maintain. Not because I do not believe deeply in the learning ability of ALL students – I do, but because just my brief experience in teaching summer school this year has shown me how challenging it can be to put that mindset to practical use all of the time in the moment. I need to work hard on remembering not to ever give excuses (only work to find solutions) and to always set high standards for all students. Esquith’s quote on “no short cuts” will be part of the key to improving my mindset, I think. The excerpt was a great reminder as to why being “growth” minded is so essential to being a teacher who can actually make a difference.

    Posted by Elizabeth Huffaker | July 21, 2013, 8:48 pm
  229. This excerpt was very empowering in reminding me that high expectations are one of the key components to helping my students achieve success. Even more than that, it is my responsibility to set them up so that they can reach these high expectations and see the intelligence and power in themselves they have never seen before. I know my children can achieve anything, but it is now my responsibility to push that belief on my students until they too see that the brain and intelligence are mailable, not set in stone.

    Posted by Olivia Sher | July 21, 2013, 8:49 pm
  230. As a first year teacher I’m entering the classroom with goals and aspirations for both my kids and myself. With this being my first year I know that I have so much to learn. My methods of delivery is something that I am committed to continuously work on and improve. With the feedback from my instructional coach and the results I see from my students I hope to improve constantly. In return, improving results of my students.

    Posted by Jeri Jones | July 21, 2013, 9:11 pm
  231. I really like how this concept of holding high standards is paired with nurturing throughout this chapter. In addition, I like the analogy of comparing a teacher to a parent. I think this allows you to see that holding high standards is doing the very best for your students – setting them up for success. It is supporting them, not carrying them.

    Posted by nrpilcher | July 22, 2013, 6:32 am
  232. Each year as I prepare to walk back into the classroom I always like to reflect on what didn’t work last year, what worked last year, and how can I improve. I feel in order for my students to grow I must grow as an educator. Everything I do great I want to do better and everything I didn’t do well on I look forward to improving and critiquing. Being apart of Teach Excellence this summer has really opened my mind to concepts and new ways to approach things, it also opened my eyes to where I went wrong with the things that didn’t work the previous year. I believe being an educator with Y.E.S Prep and having the support that YES/TE offers is a great recipe for a successful year.

    Posted by Ha'Wanna St.Cyr | July 22, 2013, 1:03 pm
  233. As an educator I am a firm believer that every child can be reached if having that teacher who will take the time to work with them. This year I am committed to having that 100% in my classroom were students feel confident about what they are learning. As a first year teacher I know I might face some challenges but I feel everything is a lesson learned and I can only grow from my mistakes. I feel that TE offers some very helpful and informative information and tools to take inside the classroom that will allow me to have a successful year.

    Posted by Kiya Lester | July 23, 2013, 8:08 pm
  234. Dweck stresses the importance of high expectations – with a caveat. “On the other hand, simply raising standards in our schools, without giving students the means of reaching them, is a recipe for disaster.” Her point is that high standards must be accompanied by the teaching of tools that will help students reach those standards. This makes me think of my college studies in developmental psychology. My professor, David Yeager, conducted a study in which students wrote an essay and received feedback. There were two groups: the control group and the experimental group. The control group was given feedback with the comment, “I’m giving you these comments so you have feedback on your essay.” The experimental group’s feedback came with the comment, “I’m giving you these comments because I have high standards and I know you can meet them.” Then, all students were asked to revise their essays. The students who knew their teacher set standards high because the teachers believed in them were significantly more likely to revise their essays. The takeaway is that high expectations can be discouraging if students aren’t supported and encouraged properly.

    Posted by GGaddie | July 23, 2013, 8:59 pm
  235. I will be teaching 6th grade. I am committed to providing as well as receiving 100% from my classroom everyday. I am committed to continual adjustment to fit the needs of my students and their learning styles. I want to set the standards high in my classroom and when my students reach them I want to set even higher standards for my class. I want to encourage and motivate my class to work their hardest and do their best everyday.

    Posted by Alisha Bailey | July 24, 2013, 7:29 pm
  236. High expectations. This is way overlooked in today’s system. This passage makes it clear that as long as you put your mind to it, you can succeed. I was amazed at how the students were able to read, comprehend and discuss such complicated works. When her class was described in the book, it seemed hopeless. I thought to myself, maybe she will help them a little, like raise their reading level a little. She did more than that! She taught them how to learn, which is a very valuable thing to teach. The students were able to take ownership in their studies and truly succeed and change their lives. The end was important, that she just wanted to learn about the students and that is how they learned most was eye opening.

    Posted by Thomas Monroe | July 25, 2013, 6:22 pm
  237. I am committed to improving myself and my teaching every day for every student in my classes. Additionally, the idea that every student can and will achieve in my classroom is something I not only believe in, but that I will teach each and every one of my students to believe in. They will respect each other as people, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, no matter how small. They will support and love each other. They will achieve great things, and I cannot wait to watch them succeed.

    Of course, I cannot and will not force my students to feel this way or believe in these things. Still, I must push myself to inspire my students and make them believe in themselves. I must show them what it means to achieve, and to think creatively. I must model success, so that they know what it looks like. Yet I know I will fail. I will fail every day. Through those failures I will learn. By learning I will improve. My students will see this attitude, and therefore have a model for achievement. This kind of growth mindset will allow my students and me to do great things. I look forward to the journey!

    Posted by Bryan Hoynacke | July 25, 2013, 6:25 pm
  238. I totally agree with Thomas Monroe – we need to set high expectations for every single student that enters our classroom. If we only accept ‘ok’ or ‘good’ then that is all we will ever get. We need to give students what our instructional coaches and administration gives us: encouragement, motivation and a mindset that we can do more and achieve more. As leaders in our schools, we need to lead our students to success. Learning is a process and we are forever molding into our best self. This, of course, can come in many different forms and is going to look different for every individual child. Listening the other day to our Special Ed leader (for YES and KIPP schools) talk about the four special education students who recently graduated highschool who are all attending some type of college or program preparing them to enter the work force was really great. No child should ever be over-looked or thought of as ‘good enough’. Our highest achievers should never be thought of in this way just the same. We need to constantly foster a love of learning within ourselves and our students.

    Posted by Colleen Wolanski | July 25, 2013, 10:44 pm
  239. Keeping expectations consistent and high regardless of any previous indicators was the biggest takeaway for me.

    When we expect something out of our students, that is what tends to surface in them. Therefore when we overhear things about students that makes us suspect they may be low achieving, we have already begun to expect that out of that student. That student then produces just that, that low expectation.

    What we need, then, is that paradigm shift mentality, maintaining those very high expectations. That drives students to achieve and that is how communities overcome the achievement gap.

    Posted by Justin Baker | July 26, 2013, 3:37 pm
  240. The response of Marva Collins’s students in a Chicago classroom to an interview about their school reflects a growth-minded teacher: “That’s why I like it, because it makes your brains bigger” and “They fill your brain.” Indeed, the image of the “brain” or the mind expanding, filling and moving is the perfect visual representation of a growth minded teacher and a goal to strive for in the classroom. Furthermore, that every student is capable of their “brain” expanding, regardless of their background or current performance. The example of DeLay and her students at Julliard exemplifies the way in which a teacher should see every student with potential to grow – that talent is not necessarily innate but can be acquired. And to help students acquire this talent or love of learning, great teachers need to set high standards for all their students and remind their students that their teacher will follow them along through each and every step to get there. As the excerpt mentioned, great teachers do not sugarcoat or lower standards but give them the tools to do it again, and do it right.
    The biggest takeaway from this excerpt is that a good teacher is one who learns along with the students. As a first year teacher, communicating to the students that I am also learning from all of the students, that learning is mutually taking place, is something I would like to commit to during the school year, ultimately creating a nurturing atmosphere where learning is the main focus of the class.

    Posted by Janet Lee | July 27, 2013, 8:08 am
  241. I believe having high expectations for students will allow them to be successful and allow us as educators to learn what techniques work for different students. I was amazed at how selfless all these teachers were and how they saw potential in every single student. As a future Pre-Calculus instructor, I hope to achieve full understanding and engagement of all students in my classes. My biggest fear is that I will skip over critical details in solving equations, that my explanations will be muddy, or that my students will find the subject boring. After reading this excerpt, I am reminded that anything is possible and all students can be motivated if we take the time to learn what ignites their passions for learning.

    Posted by Yasmin Leon | July 28, 2013, 10:51 pm
  242. I will be teaching geometry this year. I am committed to improving the students’ level of thought process. This will come with hard work and practice. It not always easy to get students to understand things like geometry proofs which are new to them. It is my goal to get all students to understand proofs which will increase their thought process. This will help students to think independently which is necessary to be successful in this new globalize economy.

    Posted by Yahya Saleh | July 29, 2013, 2:56 pm
  243. I believe anyone can rise to the challenge, so setting an keeping high expectations for sstudents will bring this side out of them.

    Posted by Robyn | August 1, 2013, 4:42 pm
  244. As a new teacher I know the importance of remaining growth minded as this will not only instill high expectations within my students but for myself as well. I believe that the only way to incorporate growth minded individuals is to be humble and accept change so there is room for growth. Growth Minded is key when ensuring that students are setting goals remaining receptacle when taking on new challenges or feedback. Same goes for teachers who also need that growth minded mentality to set their own classroom goals and receive feedback. Growth minded is way being that should be embraced by all.

    Posted by Britney Perez | August 3, 2013, 4:11 pm
  245. In my prospective, starting in the home , giving your children growth minded ideals, you are instilling in them something that is setting a foundation . This is something that they can set out to continue as they become older. Parents are giving their children room to grow and to be human beings that will contribute greatly in society. Being an educator as well as a first year teacher, it is our job to help build up our students and shape them for greatness and positivity. We are helping to raise their achievements to the highest capacity and instill in them the highest ethical and moral standards. Loving what you do and loving to teach is a wonderful experience. It is also a great way to learn and help your students become successful and in doing that, I believe it will definitely show through your students.

    Posted by M'Tisha Robinson | August 14, 2013, 7:28 am
  246. I embrace the concept of teachers being honest about not knowing everything. As a substitute teacher, I will absolutely not know everything about everything. I think students can respect the honesty of a teacher who is willing to admit this and more importantly, is willing to travel with them on the learning journey.

    Posted by Cindy Haskell | August 20, 2013, 4:29 pm
  247. I really love the idea that students are not born more or less intelligent than others, but that it is the teacher’s responsibility to foster and create a student’s intellectual growth because so many of my family and peers growing up simply accepted that they were “not smart” or college was not “for them.” That mindset is very damaging to people and communities all over the country. However, a growth-mindset allows students to feel empowered and gives them the truth that they can learn.

    Posted by Justin Agrelo | August 24, 2013, 1:50 pm
  248. One of my biggest takeaways is the observation that a growth mindset requires a balance of “challenge and nurture.” Put a different way, great teachers do not judge, but rather they teach while holding students to high expectations. I think that a major problem in low-performing, high-poverty schools is that teachers do not hold their students to the same high expectations that are placed on students of privilege. As a result, we as teachers may make excuses for why our students cannot learn, or we may lower our expectations so that simply “showing up” is enough. Instead, we need to demand high results, but also understand the challenges that students face, especially if they are far behind. All students can learn, but they will not be successful if their teachers do not invest fully in their education with a growth mindset that is predicated on teaching and creating an environment that is both challenging and nurturing.

    Posted by Parker Eudy | May 28, 2014, 6:45 pm
  249. Three takeaways from this passage:

    1) On page 195, the author speaks of a teacher in Los Angeles by the name of Rafe Esquith and states, “Every day he tells his students that he is no smarter than they are–just more experienced.” I think that this concept is beautifully articulated because my favorite teachers were the ones who had a great deal of ‘life experiences’ and were not the technocrats that pointed out flaws in everything I did. I think that when you hold intelligence over someone else, you create an elitist barrier, yet when you simply state that I’ve had more experiences, the threat is lessened. And truth be told, it is sometimes impossible to understand something until you’ve experienced it, so to be champions of experience is a worthwhile endeavor.

    2) On page 198, when Esquith is decrying the lowering of standards, the image of Bart Simpson in the special education classroom at Cypress Creek is what jumps into my mind (Season 2, Episode 8, “You Only Move Twice”). After being told to take out a “safety pencil and a circle of paper,” Bart remarks to the teacher, “Let me get this straight. We’re behind the rest of our class and we’re going to catch up to them by going slower than they are?” I believe that this best encapsulates the concept of “delusion” as described by Esquith, and that celebrating system failure is just plain bad. He makes the distinction between being optimistic and celebrating the failure of an entire school (by performing marginally better than last year while still performing terribly overall), but I think that the message is that while cynicism doesn’t help, delusion doesn’t either.

    3) On page 201, growth-minded teachers are described as those who “love to learn” and “continues to learn along with the students.” I think that as a foundational understanding to what makes a good teacher, this is a simple enough concept, but one that resonates with truth on a variety of levels. Those that teach as a job and only a job are not the ones that are in it for the experience of teaching. Teachers are expected to be ‘larger than life’ at times, which places a tremendous amount of pressure on them. And I’ll concede that balancing the job aspect from the learning aspect is trying, but those who are excellent teachers have the capability of setting priorities. In the end, those that are in to learn and grow while teaching others to learn and grow seem to have the best results in their careers.

    Posted by Tom Ten Eyck | June 12, 2014, 12:57 pm
  250. A couple of points that resonated with me were that teaching is a learning process and that one grows along with students. Learning never stops, in fact students may teach me techniques during our learning journey. Also, learning is a process of acquiring different knowledge and this knowledge can be acquired from many different sources.

    Posted by Juan Mtz | July 7, 2014, 8:40 pm
  251. This article and the other things we have read/heard, all give the same message at the core and I like what that message is. No matter where the student is academically, cognitively, or emotionally, it takes a committed teacher to see cultivate growth by pushing their own minds and pushing for their own personal growth. No matter the teachers weakness in a certain area or their insecurity about their ability to be the perfect teacher, the one thing they must be willing to do is keep an open mind and simply try. Keep trying. It’s motivating!

    Posted by Ebony S | July 19, 2015, 9:08 pm

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