Road to Growing Mindsets: Test Scores
At a school where the average test score mark is an 87%, what happens when you are the one student who is at a 65%? At this specific school, the expectation was to instill a good work ethic, strive for good marks; and aside from academics, they instilled values of respect and inclusion. It is a truly wonderful school. However, what happens to the student whose grades are suffering; they aren’t understanding the math they’re doing, which in turn makes them severely frustrated and anxious, and all of this does not make them feel included. What happens in this case? I reflected upon it every time I knew I was going to be in that classroom. I was presented with the one big issue almost every teacher faces; how can I focus on one student, when I have 24 others? As a student teacher, this is possible. When you are two, sometimes three educators, this is absolutely possible. However, I was one teacher with 24 students, and realizing just how hard this really was. I was also realizing that being 3 adults in a room was not the norm.
I tried my best for the limited times I was in there. When they had a test, I made sure that he stayed by him and offered him not only support for the work he was doing, but support for his mind. I tried to instill a growth mindset not only in him, but in the entire classroom. I talked about why we should not be afraid to make mistakes; if it weren’t for our mistakes, what would we learn? I have to admit, it wasn’t enough for him to feel confident in himself. As I thought about it after school ended, I came to the conclusion that if I were ever to be a situation like this again, I would take time aside every week to dive into the growth mindset. I want to talk about it, have lessons and activities around it; understand it. Although, being the one that struggles in a class of 24 will make you feel sad no matter what, but I strongly believe that if we learn about growth mindset, it will ease those negative feelings.
Summer has now officially begun, and I have a few plans for the summer:
Since graduating, I have felt a loss; a loss of my student identity. I compensate by continuing to further my knowledge on my own. Although there is nothing wrong with this, I think every teacher needs to take a well deserved break and do things that are fun for you! That means..
4. Work on my new book and continue to find publishers for my last one
Time to get back to it.