Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Power of Yet

yet adverb \ˈyet\
Simple Definition of yet
  • : until now : so far
  • : at this time : so soon as now
  • : in addition
"Yet." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. 

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How many times have you heard this phrase and perhaps been annoyed at the person asking?  If you think back, you likely have uttered these words too. The phrase is simply a way of expressing anticipation of getting to the next place, the next phase in life. It’s quite innocent, but can evoke irritation. I heard this recently with my niece and nephew as we were taking a family trip to Florida.  We were on the first of 2 flights.  They wanted to get there and so did I! This got me thinking about the word YET and what power it can hold.  

Author and researcher Carol Dweck known for her work on growth mindsets, shares in the Ted talk below The Power of Believing That You Can Improve.

Some key takeaways from the talk are: What can we do as educators?  How can we get to yet? Dweck suggests, we can praise wisely. Praise process, student efforts, strategies, focus, and improvement.  Refocusing our conversations will help to nurture a sense of resiliency.  
The words yet and not yet give kids a greater confidence. When we help students create and build a growth mindset it leads to equality in learning.  What will happen?  We will help brains to grow because we know that when faced with effort and difficulty, that’s exactly what happens. The brain changes, it grows!  

Dwecks’ concepts speak to me when thinking about learning about new skills, specifically those involving technology.  How many times have you seen a great new tool or technique and been intimated because you did not know how to do it or even where to start learning?  Words like “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know how to approach that” may have crept in your head.  Now, think about your students when they are learning something new.  Do you think that perhaps they have had the same self doubt?  

It’s ok and natural to be afraid or intimidated by new learning.  My challenge to myself and to you is to add the word YET to your daily conversation. It might look something like this:

I don’t use Schoology, yet.
I can’t create electronic rubrics, yet.
I don’t know a thing about blended learning, yet.
I don’t know how to create an inviting digital learning environment, yet.
I don’t know anything about project based learning, yet.
...and so on...

Think about it...there is indeed a great power in the word YET.  

And now a little more fun...the Power of Yet brought to you by Sesame Street.  

1 comment:

  1. Class Dojo has/is putting out a series of videos addressing growth mindset. January 31st happens to be when they're putting out The Power of "Yet." They have discussion guides to download too. If you don't have an account, you can access the videos on youtube... just search Class Dojo Big Ideas.

    I hope you enjoy the videos as much as I have- we've had GREAT discussions after watching them!! :-)

    (and no, I don't work for or represent the company in any way ;-) )