I am convinced that one of the richest sources of potential growth as educators can come from our mistakes, struggles, regrets, less-than-satisfactory performance, and failures. My encounter with Carol Dweck’s research on motivation my first semester in the doctoral program at Curry was a pivotal moment, personally and professionally. I’ll be posting a book review of her book, “Mindset,” in the near future, but the short version I walked away with is this: you can have a growth or a fixed mindset regarding how you view things like your own and others’ intelligence, failures and setbacks, and effort. Due in large part to Dweck’s work, I am now firmly convinced that hard work can lead to success and that failures and setbacks are opportunities for learning and growth.
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce a series on this site, called From the Compost Pile, that chronicles some of these growth potentials from my own career. My plan is to share what I did, why I did it, and what I would do differently, as well as to provide a brief rationale for my change in thinking or approach. In this way, I hope to bring new life and growth from my professional “compost pile” in a way that sparks insight, provokes thought, and encourages my colleagues in education.