Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Your words have power

Last night was the first #MindsetBC chat on Twitter.  I am really pleased with the how the chat went. Lots of great discussion.  You can see the Storify of the chat here.

In the book, Dr. Dweck talks about not being put in a high reading group.  That lead to this discussion:

I had always been in the high group.  So, one day I was trotted across the parking lot to the Intermediate School with the rest of the high group.  We took at test and went back to school. I didn't think much about it.

A little while latter (It could have been two weeks, a month, 2 months. I have no idea) several of my high group friends were trotted back across the parking lot while I stayed behind.  When they got back I asked my friend John where they went.  We were at GT. That night I ask my Momma about it.  That lead to "The Meeting".

"The Meeting" was at the Intermediate School in a portable.  It was my Momma, the GT teacher and me.  Momma and I sat on at a kidney table and the GT teacher sat in the middle on the other side.  I don't remember everything but I do remember very clearly these words:

Aimee is just not as smart as she's lead you to believe. 

Even typing those words today makes my heart race.  Maybe I'm not.  How did I fool everyone?  I didn't mean to trick anybody.  

I stayed in the high groups and honor classes until middle school until creative differences over The Yearling lead to my exit. I do not like animal stories.  Like hate them. I offered to read War and Peace instead.  My insistence lead me to be labeled 'difficult' and exited from Honors. 

Needless to say high school was boring.  I was not challenged and I did the minimum to get by.  I was not a straight A student.  But, I didn't fail (except Spanish, that's another story).  And no one talked to me about college.  I'm the youngest of 3. All 3 of us and my Momma graduated from the same high school.  No one in my family had gone to college.  I guess the counselors just assumed I wouldn't either.  

But I did.  I received a dance scholarship to a junior college. Then I transferred to my beloved East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas.  In college I started feeling smart again.  I loved learning. This continued when I went to graduate school at Texas A&M University in College Station.  In grad school I had several professors who built me back up. They knew I was smart and expected me to lead.  And I did.  

I still have times when that GT teacher echoes in my ears.  Especially when a project doesn't go the way I expect or when I'm rejected.  When she does, I try to have my grad school professors talk her down. 

As we gear up for another school year, please remember that your words have an impact. Think before you speak. Love the ugly cats. Speak love to all kids.  You may need to be stern but there's no reason to be mean.  Just love kids.  It's what they need the most from us. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aimee,
    Thanks for sharing such a touching story! I have enjoyed our Twitter book chats. The book is very interesting and it's fun to compare notes via Twitter. Thanks for including me in your blog post. :)

    Christie

    ReplyDelete

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