This graphic came across my Twitter feed a few weeks ago:
I read it initially and retweeted, because who doesn’t want to have a growth mindset over a fixed mindset?
And then it started niggling in the back of my brain, and I began to feel more and more annoyed and offended by parts of the graphic. The longer I considered it, the more infuriated I felt.
Why are we always encouraged to believe that kids aren’t worth it – the extra money, the extra resources, the extra well-educated personnel? Why are we always encouraged to work with the minimum, rather than filling the classroom to the maximum?
If we really believe in inclusion, why aren’t we advocating rather accepting? It can be viewed as a value judgement on the child if we choose to settle for what we have, rather than advocating for everything we believe he or she needs. There’s an implication that our exceptional learners can “get by” if only teachers have a growth mindset.
I completely agree with the quote at the bottom of the image: “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” And it’s because I believe that sentiment that I will never stop advocating for what I think is best for my students, whether it’s time, materials, or human resources. Let’s stop trotting out the lack of support for our exceptional learners as something inspirational like having a “growth mindset”. It denigrates them, and everyone who works tirelessly to make their school life a positive and rewarding experience.