Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

What an awesome book by Carol Dweck! Growth Mindset. I learned a lot about myself as a person and as a teacher. I can’t wait to help my students change their mindsets.

A mind set can be fixed or growth. A fixed mindset says we are all we can be. We can’t be any better than what we are. There is no way to improve. A person can only be so smart, play a game or sport so well. Bummer, that makes a fixed mindset limited.

A growth mindset is unlimited. Oh, boy, people who have a growth mindset know there is always something to do to make themselves better. Athletes like Michael Jordan, have a growth mindset. He worked tirelessly to become a good basketball player, long before he was great.

One of my favorite comparisons in the Growth Mindset book is a comparison between fixed and growth mindset, which says “I can’t.” As a teacher, I hear this WAY too often. A child with a fixed mindset says “I can’t” and gives up and quits. A child with a growth mindset says “I can’t… yet” and keeps trying. In my mind, a growth mindset is a more open way of thinking.

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Teacher thoughts

As teachers, our comments toward or about our students can help set their growth or fixed minds. We all do it, even unintentionally. We tell a student they are a mess. Or we set our expectations too low and they don’t achieve beyond because they think they don’t need to try. Student parents give their children fixed mindsets too. I know mine did. However, they thought they were stating a fact at the time. I was told that because they had no musical talent, I didn’t either. When it comes to being musically inclined, I am fix minded. I have tried to learn more from time to time. As soon as someone mentions how poorly I sing or play, I stop – giving up.

I try to be open minded for my students. Students learn from the beginning that I am going to push them. I will take my students from where they are, with what they know and make them work to learn as much as possible. Then, I get my students to learn even more than they thought possible. It is my job to teach them and help them to learn. My students will work hard for me and know when things get hard for them I will work with them to get past that,  “I can’t…yet.”

Furthermore, I am looking forward to working more and more with a growth mindset and teaching and encouraging my students to have growth mindsets.



To learn more about the mindsets, please check out the book below:



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