#growth mindset

This post combines three things I love: teaching dogs cool tricks, helping people grow, and figuring out how to do it best. I want to show you how easily I work with both dogs and humans, where the skills overlap and how they differ, so you too can teach fun tricks and help your fellow humans get better.

Why assess understanding?

Assessing understanding is the key to improvement. If you know what you don’t know you can hone in on fixing that gap. Here’s the tricky part, though: understanding is fluid; without practice, our skills and knowledge atrophy. Thus, assessing understanding is a continuous process.

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As I write this, I’m entering my sixth week home with my family: a 2 and 4 year old, my husband, and my grandmother. My husband and I both are working and my grandmother lives for my children, so we’re in a good place. We all like each other and are making the best of this.

It’s been up and down, joy and stress, caring and frustration. Mostly it’s been stable and steady. This got me thinking about how I’m feeling fine enough when others in similar situations are struggling.*

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Leadership is the ability to help a group of people advance from the place they are today as much as they are willing and able to grow.

The first thing you need to know about my approach to leadership is a little context.

Here are some crucial bits to apply to what I’m about to tell you:

  1. I have been working in technology in many ways, but mostly as a software engineer or software engineering manager for over 20 years
  2. I have a degree in education. I wanted to be a teacher since middle school after watching, and being inspired by, great teachers
  3. Despite having a degree in elementary education, I decided not to teach because of how curriculum and evaluation was carried out at a mass scale in US public education
  4. I was in college studying elementary education when No Child Left Behind, a test-focused education platform, was unveiled. I fought against its existence
  5. My ethos is personal development. I care, first and foremost, about growth. Of myself and of those around me. I like to make people better

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