Developing a Growth Mindset

As I reflect back on my previous post about the growth mindset plan, I realized that I have changed over the past few months. I have tried to make the changes necessary and push through to become a better leader for my students and try to push a better mindset for my students and staff. I have implemented flip grid in my clinical courses to give insight to my students about how nurses view our profession as respiratory therapist and how respiratory therapist feel about what they do. Also, I have added a video where Carol S. Dweck is speaking about the growth mindset and ask for their views and how they view their mindset. Most of my students said at first entering the program they had a fixed mindset. They were unsure about their learning and if they were capable of doing what needed to be done to learn the information. But, in the end they began to learn the information and became open to more ideas and realized they were capable of not just memorizing but connecting the information to real life experiences. They then felt they were on the track to growing their mindset when it came to learning.

I have tried other ways to get my students out of their comfort zone to open their mind to new ways of learning. As I have stated before health careers is a lot of collecting information in the beginning. There is a need to collect and there will always be a need for collecting. I always tell my students once we have got to the point we have collected the dots successfully it is time to connect them. Therefore, we will begin simulation at this point or case studies. Before, we begin clinical, simulation, case studies, or anything that they have not yet felt confident in, I try to use the verbiage “yet”. That way they feel as if I am not pressuring them or they know I do not expect them to be experts right away. I always let them know that we would rather them fail in simulation than in the hospital. When, they are in simulation other students learn from doing, seeing, and acting.

After, reading the Growth Mindset Book this summer it helped me with learning how to apply feedback appropriately with my students. During, my summer clinical course I really struggled with a student and worked real hard in simulation and clinical on feedback. I developed a plan with this student for the Fall if improvement was needed based on the book and this program helping me. I decided she would need to come in and do more simulation if needed to help with her skills as well as, spend more one on one time in clinical with her. Apparently, she came back this Fall and was one of my best students overall. She took my feedback and worked over the remainder of Summer by watching you tube videos, reading, and studying for the Fall. When, receiving the feedback this past summer she received it with a growth mindset which allowed her to work on herself. I was really impressed with her actions and what she was capable of. My instructors and myself were about to give up on this one student and turns out she just never had anyone push her or tell her what she needed to work on. I believe if I had not of gave her the feedback she needed I would have lost a great future respiratory therapist.

undefinedMost students including my students, my step-kids, and friends kids they believe if they cannot be the best at something then they do not want to try at all. For example, baseball has become so competitive since I was a child. You have so many tournament teams, hitting lessons, pitching lessons, and year around ball. If you are not apart of this then it makes a boy think they are not the best when they enter junior high or high school ball. My question is? Does everyone have to be the pitcher? No! There are only a few. And are we really preparing every boy in the world to play in the MLB? No. This is something to do to keep them active in team sports, show them values, respect, and so on. But, to a boy he thinks he is preparing for the majors. But, since he did not prepare like the other kids did he shouldn’t play high school ball. Everyone on that field has a purpose and not everyone did tournament ball. His mindset already going into high school sports was fixed. How do we change his mindset? Well, I simply explained that this is your high school years have fun, enjoy life, and this is your time to shine. You know the game and all you have to do is work hard, get your mind right, and put in extra work and there is a chance you could be the starting pitcher or third base man. I repeated this to this boy and let him know that just because you are not on varsity your Freshman year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play! He is still playing third base to this day and having fun doing it. Hopefully, this will open his mind up to other things along the way.

The same goes for grades, how do we change our students minds about getting As? I find that to be a challenging question. As myself, still strives for As. Not that I have to have an A. I hope that I perform at a level that is at an A level. My students were all accepted into my program based on gpa therefore, it is really hard for them to let go of the A mentality. They are usually the best of the best in the community college other than the students that transfer. I try to tell them at the beginning that your grade does not matter as long as you can connect the dots. My B students are usually the best ones who can critically think. They are the ones who are really working hard at learning. I have really tried hard to make them focus on the learning and not the grade.

I believe there are many things we still need to work on as educators and students when it comes to mindset. I feel like I still fail with my mindset as a wife and I work everyday on that. I spend more time focusing on my mindset as an educator I tend to fail as a mom and wife on being open minded. I think we all need to work on staying focused on our growth mindset. I believe that Carol S. Dweck’s idea about the Growth Mindset Plan is wonderful and we need to work on this with our co-workers to make sure we are all using this with our students to help grow our students. Maybe we could save more than just the one student I saved this summer. Without having a growth mindset my innovation plan will not work.


Dweck, Carol S. (Ph.D.). (2006). Mindset the new psychology of success.

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