When a student demonstrates a fixed mindset, add the word 'yet' to the end of their sentence:
- "I can't do this... YET."
- "I don't know what I'm supposed to do... YET."
- "I can't figure it out... YET."
The constant message of 'yet' will recast self-doubt into attainable hope. By saying 'yet' when a student voices surrender, we offer them permission to not know something now, while at the same time assuring them they will know it later.
Now that you have pivoted their perspective, provide ways for students to explore new ideas. Is there another strategy you can try, like using a visual model to describe the problem? Can you justify your solution by explaining it to a classmate? Can you ask another student how they solved this problem? These methods all require effort and determination, and these qualities will help learners grow.