As a teacher, it is critical to keep in mind that the way students perceive themselves as learners is directly connected to their academic success. We need to steer students away from their focus on getting an "A" because, ultimately, a letter grade does not necessarily signify the degree of effort a student has put into their studies.
Dweck asks a very pertinent question at the heart of her discussion: "Are we raising [kids] for now instead of 'yet'?" She cautions educators to evaluate what they praise and what they teach students to value with regards to their performance. Instead of praising a correct answer, which teaches students that being right is most important, it is critical that we praise the actual effort that students put into their school work, regardless of the outcome. We must "transform the meaning of effort and difficulty" in our classrooms. Just because something is challenging for one student and may not be for others does not mean that they are any less capable. We need to inspire our students to try, try again, and keep trying. Learning is a process that does not end with a letter grade. Success is more about the roadwork you lay along the journey than the actual destination.
"Let's not waste any more lives," Dweck urges, "because once we know that abilities are capable of such growth, it becomes a basic human right for children - all children - to live in places that create that growth. to live in places filled with 'yet'".
At the school where I am currently student teaching, the word FAIL is an acronym for "First Attempt In Learning." It is important that students do not see struggle or failure as an ending, but rather an opportunity to try something new. This is an important reminder because motivation is something that needs to be built and maintained - it can be very fragile. As teachers, it is our job to inspire our students to push through and persevere when they are struggling, to show them that they have support, and to remind them that a dilligent, genuine work ethic is just as important (if not more important) as the result.