The Power of Yet

Last week, I met one of our teachers to talk about how our guided reading project in Katete West is going. Learning how to read is one of the most difficult things a child will have to learn, and this process is so unique to each individual. As a teacher, supporting this process when you have so many learners can be really tricky. Upon asking the teacher how it was going for her students she said: "Some students have not mastered reading this book..." she paused and then she quickly added "yet". "They have not mastered it-yet."

Such a small and simple word, as 'yet' can be so powerful! By building in the word 'yet' into our vocabularies, we are completely shifting our mindsets to encourage growth and reaching our full potential. 

After the conversation I found myself returning to the ideas on "Growth Mindsets", developed by Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University. Her TED talk a few years ago has certainly left a strong impression on me, and I often revisit her work to remind myself of the importance of using the word 'yet' in my vocabulary. 

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·         "I can't do this" ----------- "Yet"

·         "This doesn't work" --------"Yet"

·         "I don't know" --------------"Yet"

·         "It doesn't make sense"--- "Yet"

·         "I'm not good at this" ----- "Yet"

As educators, instilling a growth mindset in our students is key to building their motivation and passion for learning. Rather than saying 'he failed his test', we can say 'he is not there yet'. Rather than seeing failure or inability to do something as an end, we can see it as a mean to grow and get better. Our students, teachers and support staff have so much potential, and without a growth mindset the challenges they face every day would certainly prevent them from succeeding.

I am glad to be reminded of this by my colleagues and teachers who continue to see an opportunity for growth and who seek out challenges even if it means failing the first time. We are all learning and growing. We all face challenges. 

We should all reminded ourselves that we do not know and cannot do everything we want to - yet.

- Felicia Dahlquist, Director of Academics & Evaluation