Year-End Goals for My Class: Two Key Mindsets

My Program Director Master of Teacher Leadership Development Teach for America mentor guy Nate has us doing some soul-searching and visioning for our classrooms. It's refreshing and inspiring- a far cry from last year, where I felt like I was searching for perfect systems, rushing to hit objectives on time, and lowering the bar for my kids and I.

Today I decided that if my kids only remember two things about my class, I want them to be:

1) Problems need to be solved, you have the tools you need to solve them, and time's a wastin. Why? Because life is made of problems, and the more you solve, the better you get. 

2) To master anything, you need to practice it a lot.

These two mindsets matter more to me than the Algebra curriculum- if they internalize both of them, they will be set up for success with any teacher down the road, in any subject. 

Below are good but not critical mindsets:

"Math is fun"

"Mr. Shackelford is a good teacher"

"I'm good at math"

"I will use my Algebra skills later in life."

Yeah, I'd like my kids to have them, but if I have a class of problem-solvers who know the value of practice, their attitudes toward math and school will turn around just fine.