Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Sunday, September 21, 2014



I have blogged, tweeted, posted on Facebook the importance of a growth mindset. Yes having a growth mindset is very important. It allows us to be resilient, learn from our mistakes and understand that we are not stuck in the place that we currently find ourselves. However the idea of Mindset is so much more and permeates almost everything about our lives and careers. A while ago I read   "Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching"  by Angela Watson and I would like to share with you some of the highlights from the book.

"The only factor that you have complete control over is your mindset: the way YOU think and perceive things, and the way YOU choose to respond. If you want to create meaningful and lasting change in your job satisfaction, the best place to start is with your own thought patterns and attitude....

Your mindset is ultimately the reason why you love teaching or despise it. There is no such thing as a “good school” or “bad teaching position”; workplaces and jobs are not inherently good or bad. I finally understood that whether you enjoy your work or not is completely within your frame of reference.

Will our negative feelings ever go away completely? No. It’s not possible to feel happy, content, and undisturbed during every moment in life. We’re fallible human beings, and negative emotions are a natural part of our lives. We experience loss that brings sadness, and injustice that brings anger. Feeling these emotions can be a very healthy experience. It can help us to bring about positive change in ourselves and the world."

Watson in her book quotes Dweck and at the root of her ideas is that we need to adopt a growth mindset as she says;  "Carol Dweck has written extensively about how our basic abilities are not fixed from birth, but can be improved through hard work and dedication. The belief that this development is possible is called having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. I encourage you to adapt a growth mindset as you read this book, believing that you can, in fact, improve your ability to handle stress and manage classroom challenges if you put forth the conscious effort to do so."

The real take away I had from Watson's book was that whether our job s good or bad and how we approach stress and, negativity also is our control. We make the reality of situation. Only we can create happiness for ourselves and only we can determine if we are in a good school or not.

While this sounds so simple it is often forgotten. How often my self included would say, "Oh that's a bad situation." Well it's a bad situation because I determined it to be bad situation.

As Jews worldwide approach the day of judgment, may we merit the ability to look inward and recognize that everything that G-D does is for the best and is good and that it our mindset that determines how we in actuality view what is intrinsically good. 

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