Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Growing Into My Growth Mindset

Oh no!  I almost cried again.  But I didn't!  I will NOT cry in this wood shop.

This week, we spent the first hour talking.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, someone asked me this week why I wasn't teaching special ed. this year.  I gave a short version of the story. I will NOT cry in this wood shop. For the first time telling this story, I didn't cry. I DID NOT CRY IN THIS WOOD SHOP!

And then we moved on to learning about the machines in the wood shop. THANK GOD.


Wait Peter!  PETER!


I got the jointer. Joiner?  Jointer?

I got the planer.  Planer? Planar?

Hmmm... I think I got the table saw. Maybe.

And then it was over. My head was done.  Peter had 6 more machines, but my brain was done.

Wait, is this how people feel when I try to teach them how to make a website?  

Is this how my students feel when I ask them to write a sentence? 

Well, it's a good thing Peter said we won't be having a test on these, although won't USING them be the ultimate test?

Oh well. The machines are long gone in my brain because then we started "sketching."  Cool. I can draw well enough PLUS Jim is helping me.

And then we're figuring out how to calculate how much wood we need.  Cool. I am sweet at math.

And then...


And then I COULDN'T DO THE MATH!!!!!!!!!!

No, really. I couldn't do the math to figure out how much wood I would need.  I couldn't visualize the cuts in the wood and I couldn't even problem solve to figure out the math to help me figure out the other math!


Thank goodness there's a former math teacher around and also a math intervention specialist and also some really awesome furniture makers because they helped me with the math.

But they also helped me realize that this is what's wrong with school.  I did learn this math.  I could ROCK THIS MATH on a standardized test.  But now, using this math in context, WHEN I ACTUALLY NEED IT and I can't do it.  I am horrified to admit and totally embarrassed.  I have a Masters' degree PLUS 29 credits AND I COULDN'T DO THE MATH.

And then I thanked God for putting me in this situation where I don't need to be embarrassed because I am learning with these people who are also learning.  AND FAILING IS OKAY.

This is exactly the message I need to take back to my students who HATE to read out loud in front of their peers:

Let's let it be okay to mess up.  Let's laugh when we make a mistake and try again the next time.  Let's use our peers for their talents and then shine in another area.  Let's make it okay to do stuff you're not good at it, solely for the purpose of getting better at it.  Let's take it easy and learn for fun, rather than learn for a test or a score.  Let's CHILL OUT and stop worrying.

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