Read the following diary entry about how one individual came up against difficulties and how they managed to overcome them:
When I was in primary school, I remember struggling with adding negative numbers. I had a hard time understanding what ‘negative’ even meant when talking about a number - how can you have less than nothing? I ended up going through many practice problems and continuing to get many of them wrong. I was a very shy kid, so I didn’t ask my teacher many questions. My thought was that I had reached ‘the peak’ of my maths talent, and it was all downhill from here. I eventually asked my mum about this topic and she explained to me the basic concept of negative numbers. This helped me understand it a little, but it was still fuzzy to me. I then researched online for some real-life examples to show what these mysterious numbers represented, rather than focusing purely on the theory. Some of them made sense, and others didn’t. I still didn’t entirely get it and I was so frustrated that I wanted to just give up (or continue hoping that negative numbers were not going to appear in maths class ever again). I started to dislike maths simply because I couldn’t understand it anymore. Instead of entirely giving up on my academic career, I eventually mustered up the courage to ask my teacher for help as well. She explained it in a few different ways, and gave me new strategies to try out. After some practice with these new strategies, I started to solidify my understanding of negatives which allowed me to quickly pick up basic algebra afterwards. While it was a lot of work and I wanted to give up at many points during my journey, I eventually was able to ‘rewire’ my brain so that negative numbers actually made sense to me.
Adapted from: Khan academy and PERTS (2018) Growth mindset: lesson plan. Available at: https://resiliencetoolkit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/growth-mindset-lesson-plan.pdf (Accessed: 12 May 2020).
Now think about your own experience. Try to remember a time when you too were struggling to overcome a challenge or when you decided to learn something new that was hard for you.
Think about the following:
Adapted from: PERTS (n.d.) Writing your growth mindset story. Available at: https://www.mindsetkit.org/static/files/Writing_Your_Growth_Mindset_Story.pdf (Accessed: 12 May 2020).