Last week, after what I believed was a well-planned, and engaging discussion and thought-provoking lesson on growth mindset the following dialogue occurred.

learn-quotes07

On the way out the classroom door heading to morning break one of my more ‘enthusiastic’ learners (Grade 7) triggered this fantastic conversation:

Student: Jeff, thanks for sharing that information.

Me: My pleasure, [student’s name]. Did you think that it was a useful discussion? 

Student: Kinda. I guess.

Student: [long pause]

Student: Jeff, when are we going to start learning something?

Me: Um, we just did…

Student: No, I mean like really useful stuff. Stuff to help you in life. 

Me: Like what kind of stuff?

Student: You know, stuff that matters. Learning real stuff. Like math. Reading. You know, important stuff.

Me: Um…we’ll be getting to that next week.

Student: Oh…I’m just really keen to learn new things.

Me: Me, too. Hey, was there something new that you learned this morning?

Student: Yeah. For sure. It was a lot of stuff.

Me: Yeah, it was. Did you connect with anything valuable from the discussion? Like how the way we think affects how we learn or whether we learn?

Student: Yeah. How our brains can change. How I can change it with my thoughts, I guess. Kinda cool.

Me: For me, I see a connection between learning stuff out there [pointing past student’s shoulder] and stuff in here [pointing at myself]. Kinda deep stuff, eh?

Student: [long pause] I guess so…

Me: I think that understanding how our brains work is important for understanding how we learn. Math. Reading. Driving a car. Making cookies. Whatever.

Student: [long pause]

Student: Did you have to learn that stuff in school?

Me: Nope. But, I wish that I did.

Student: Why? And why are they teaching it now?

Me: Because now we know better. We know what it takes to become successful learners for life. I also think it will help everyone to become happier and more joyful, too.

Student: [looks at me with a nonbelieving look on their face]

Me: No. Seriously. I do.

Student: You said that learning the mindset stuff is the most important “stuff” that we’ll learn all year.

Me: Yes. Because I believe it is.

Student: [long pause]

Student: More important than math?

Me: Actually, I do. Crazy, eh?

Student: Ah, yeah. Kinda.

Student: [long pause]

Student: I’m going to grab my snack.

Me: Me, too. See you after the break for some math [wink].


NOTE: I still have so much to learn. About teaching. About learning. About my students. About myself. The journey continues…

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s