A victory!

About 25 years ago I took an online IQ test just for the heck of it.

“Guess what my IQ is?”

“I don’t know. Is it at least 100?”

“Nope. It’s 45.”

“Wow! You really are an overachiever.”

I still think that test was accurate. It measured spatial intelligence and I admit I lack that ability. I’ve never enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, and putting together IKEA stuff—forget about it. That’s why when my 5 year-old grandson came to me with a toy car that needed to be assembled, my first instinct was to say, “Oh, Neil, I can’t do that. I’m not good at building things.” But instead I paused and said, “Well, you know Neil, I’m usually not good at this sort of thing, but let’s give it a try. Maybe together we can figure it out.” And we spent an hour or so assembling the pieces into a passable fire truck for little guys to play with.

Most of us have “closed mind sets” as Carol Dweck writes. Our students have them too. When they say, “I can’t do math,” or “I’m not good at writing” or “I don’t like to read,” they are demonstrating their “closed mind sets.” My inability to see how shapes fit together becomes my reluctance to do jigsaw puzzles, “They’re just a waste of time. It’s stupid.” The 1,000 piece puzzles that consumed other members of my family remained a mystery to me.

Now that I’m “old and grey” I discover that if I keep trying even I can somehow achieve a small victory. Never mind that the 3 year-old in the house came by after his brother and I had completed building the fire engine, took it all apart, and reassembled it in about 10 minutes. I still see myself as a winner!



8 thoughts on “A victory!

  1. Love the ending — those 3 year olds get us every time. I often wonder if it is also a self fulfilling prophecy – we think we are not good at it so we avoid it and then get even worse! If you think you are good to practice more by doing it and get better. Important to remember in school with young learners!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That darn 3 year old! I got a chuckle out of your ending. I work with readers who battle that closed mindset day in and day out. We work on strategies to make reading successful. Nothing is better than the smile on their face when the get it and realize that yes they can do hard things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great piece on the power of a positive mindset! Diane, it is so true – we are all smart in different ways, but we can all learn and improve in areas where we feel less comfortable. The close for this piece is hysterical – priceless, really! I laughed out loud! Thanks for a great way to start this day!

    Liked by 1 person

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