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The Power of Yet has become synonymous with learning.

Each year students enter classrooms filled with mixed mindsets. Some are eager to learn, while others remain a bit uncertain. What’s impressive about this concept is how quickly students associate with its purpose.

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But what is The Power of Yet?

The Power of Yet is a method of using thoughts to re-enforce positive thinking that can help a student reach a goal. As teachers introduce the concept of fixed vs. growth mindsets, students begin to understand the benefits. At that very moment, in walks the Power of Yet. The goal is to inspire a student’s self-confidence to learn. Before discussing the concept, let’s define the two elements connected to this motto.

Fixed mindsets are linked to students’ knowledge and belief in their skills and intelligence. Some are formed by outside influences (family and peers). Personality traits include self-awareness or a natural characteristic of resistance to change.

Growth mindsets exist in students who realize their level of skills. There’s enthusiasm in these students with the motivation to learn new things. They are willing to accept constructive feedback, put in the hard work to learn, and demonstrate perseverance to complete the task.

Creating classroom culture

Changing mindsets involves changing the surroundings to help influence a student’s cognizance. Today, teachers are altering classroom cultures to develop growth mindsets by changing student attitudes from I can’t – to yet, and what if? It’s here that students realize that learning leads to understanding and discovery. As students take hold of these new thinking strategies, a noticeable transition from a fixed to a growth mindset begins.

Classroom tools include:

  • Language – vocabulary, open-ended questions, and practice.
  • Visual posters – mantras that re-enforce possibilities when trying new things.
  • Interactive classroom activities respond to real-life challenges (risks).

Classrooms are safe environments for posing questions, solving problems, and discussing scenarios to encourage students to explore new subjects. What better setting to convert inquisitive minds into growth mindsets? For students to grow, they must be challenged. Teachers must find a technique that causes students to respond to the question.

Building self-confidence to face the challenge

Most students are willing to try new things, think outside the box, and pat themselves on the back for trying. It’s a process of building self-confidence learned with a solid understanding of the Power of Yet. It starts by accepting that new challenges are not always accomplished spot-on the first time. As students acknowledge this fact and exert the effort to try, it leads to an eagerness to take on more difficult challenges in the future.

Share the experiences of learning:

  • Mistakes are learning lessons to help students succeed, improve, and achieve.
  • Resilience provides a bounce-back effect for students.
  • Look for different ways to succeed. Don’t give up on the first failure.

Students begin to thrive when they understand that mistakes are part of learning. Teachers need to encourage students to push the limits beyond their comfort zone. As students take this leap, a change in how students see themselves and the world around them happens.

Establish achievable goals one step at a time

Set realistic goals that are achievable before moving the bar upward. Students need reassurance to develop a growth mindset. Teachers can help by celebrating daily accomplishments, no matter how small. By guiding students to the next step, teachers help to promote a growth-minded mentality. Remind students just because it seems hard does not mean it cannot be conquered.

Emphasize the steps to boost success:

  • Focus on the process they take to reach the goal
  • Learn the skills needed to accomplish the task.
  • Celebrate how good it felt to accomplish something that seemed difficult.
  • Not everything happens overnight, some new things take days, months, or even years to master.

The Power of Yet can have a positive effect that follows a student through a lifetime. Of all the mentors and heroes who enter a student’s life, not one is as influential as a teacher. Be sure to share your journeys through educational hardships, mistakes, and accomplishments that got you where you are today.

Learning to ask questions

Asking questions triggers the thought process and becomes a valuable step toward learning and understanding the Power of Yet. Too often, students worry about the repercussions (appearing foolish) of asking questions. The reality is that there’s another student in the classroom with the same question. To diminish this overwhelming feeling, teachers can contribute to the fact that even the strongest and smartest students have asked questions for clarity and help.

Self-assurance builders:

  • Let students know they are not alone.
  • Praise students for asking questions.
  • Confirm that the unasked question is the biggest mistake.

Sometimes students need a push to take that step forward to learning. One-on-one or group discussions can lead students to learn new problem-solving strategies. Simple words like ‘yet’ or ‘what if’ can turn dreams into reality and challenges into victories.

Tackle the task no matter how difficult

Without a doubt, learning is a challenge at any age. For most students, challenges that appear to be short-term give the impression of being easier compared to more difficult long-term challenges. This belief is not always true. The difficulty level automatically triggers the feeling of exhaustion, followed by a fixed mindset to give up. The Power of Yet raises a student’s stamina to finish the task no matter how long it may take.

Students must learn the following:

  • To review, plan and strategize the approach.
  • Weigh the consequences of accomplishment vs. avoidance.
  • Know it’s okay to struggle.

Students already know teachers expect a lot of them. They need to learn to expect the same of themselves. Teachers must point out new ways of approaching the situation by reaffirming the Power of Yet. The approach is intended to get a student’s mind to wonder about the what-ifs, known and unknown possibilities, and potential finishes. Teachers need to encourage students on how growth mindsets can change outcomes based on learning from past mistakes and envisioning future possibilities.

Learning and growth mindsets are achievement tools

For teachers, new ideas and ways of thinking continue to inspire students. Although each generation shares similar desires and hesitations about learning, they each look to a teacher for inspiration to achieve academic expectations.

Like the students taught, there is no single method for learning. The Power of Yet can open a range of possibilities for classroom lessons to provide innovative instruction that pushes a student’s learning ability further. The Power of Yet has become a popular topic in educational psychology. A renowned professional and author Carol Dweck continues to share the idea of the growth mindset. Here’s an insert from one of her discussions on the subject:

“What on earth would make someone a non-learner?” asks Dweck. “Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up.”