I have been thinking about my previous post on the importance of developing a growth mindset towards all aspects of your education and how this can be done. The word 'yet' has the potential to dramatically improve your outlook on your education and encourage you to try harder, but why?
Saying 'I am not good at Maths' gives the impression that it is a feature that defines you, it says that you are just a person that will never have the ability to do well in the subject, it just isn't in your DNA. However by saying 'I am not good at Maths yet' it completely changes this outlook. It does acknowledge some difficulty in understanding, but it also acknowledges that it is something that can be improved on, it is something that is possible to attain. 'I can't do it' says that no matter how hard I try, it just won't happen, so extra effort is pointless. 'I can't do it yet' means that with extra effort there can be improvement and if I continue to work and continue to improve then I can eventually overcome those difficulties.
This is a message I need to instill in my students and in my feedback them. Whenever they say 'I can't do it' I need to make sure I get them to also say 'yet'. I don't want them to take this easy option as it limits their improvement and their outcomes.
Senior Leader of Pedagogical Innovation and Mathematics Coordinator in Regional South Australia.
Opinions in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.