Jessilyn Swanson

SWE19

Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

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Challenge

We live in a very struggle-averse society where success is prized above all else and this gets translated to our schools and classrooms. As a middle school math teacher, I hear “I don’t get this” so often and I’ve realized that it is just code for “give me the answer”. It’s like the first sign of difficulty signals something in their brains to quit and look for a way out. But this mindset extends to teachers as well! Why is it that we seem so afraid to try new things or step out of our comfort zones? Maybe the mindset shift we hope for in our students has to happen for educators as well. The most important thing I've learned about success in my years of teaching is that repeated failures produce more momentum than quick success. I wonder how we can create and encourage this mindset in our schools.

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