Thursday, September 17, 2015

Change your Words; Change your Mindset

Nothing is more powerful or more limiting than the spoken word, and in education we say a lot of words. Some words push kids and peers forward, while some words stop others dead in their tracks. If you think about it, we say a lot of 4-letter words in education (not those 4-letter words :-)) that truly limit students and colleagues from reaching their innate potential and we must address that.  

Today's post is not about eradicating words but reconsidering how we use them. Below are a few 4-letter, fixed mindset words that we need to either eliminate from our vocabulary or transform our use of them from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.  

Fixed Mindset - He passed the test, assignment, class, year 
Growth Mindset - He has made x amount of progress from the last test, last grading period, or last year.

Fixed Mindset - She failed. 
Growth Mindset - She is failing in the following areas, but she has these concepts under control. 

Fixed Mindset - He can't do this work. 
Growth Mindset - He presently struggles with this skill, and here's the plan to help him overcome his deficit. 

Fixed Mindset - We don't do that around her. 
Growth Mindset - We haven't done that before, but we can learn more about it to see if it will help us better help kids learn. 

Fixed Mindset - I like the work you're doing. 
Growth Mindset - Here's what I Iike about the work you're doing. 

Fixed Mindset - Good job. 
Growth Mindset - Good growth, good progress, good improvement. 

What would you Change?
Drop a comment and share a word that you would add or an idea that we should all keep in mind. We mustn't forget that when we change our words, we also change our mindset. 


  1. Fine
    Fixed Mindset: That's fine.
    Growth Mindset: You met the expectations, but can you explain/describe/investigate/collaborate/(enter a verb) a little more

    1. Josh, great word that we need to consider before we use it. Thanks for dropping a comment and have a great day.