When Kids Get Stuck: Growth Mindset

The big question we need to answer in this entire training is “How do I help kids get unstuck, when I don’t know how to code?” Good question! In the next lesson we’ll give you an ultra-practical three step process. But in this lesson, you’ll learn the philosophy behind the three step process.

Watch this video:

So how do we get them unstuck? We don’t.

Scandalous, right? We don’t get them unstuck. At least in the traditional sense of spoon feeding them an answer or solution to their problem. Instead, we support them as they get themselves unstuck.

We need to guide these kids as they develop a growth mindset.

What does that look like? If you can imagine it, you’re going to have lots of opportunity to practice guiding kids to develop a growth mindset because they’re going to encounter a lot of obstacles as they try to learn how to code. Maybe more-so than almost any other discipline.

When that happens – when your coders encounter a problem and get stuck – it’s your time to shine. Start rehearsing the cheerleading phrases,

  • “You got this.”
  • “I believe in you.”
  • “You can do this!”

Seriously. Say them every single time. Stick the encouragement into overdrive. You can’t be too positive in these situations.

In Conclusion

We’ll talk more about the specifics and our three step process in the next lesson, but the important thing to recognize right now is that code club is not a place for easy answers. You, as the guide, should never spoon feed a coder the answer. This might be counterintuitive, but, as the video reveals, wrestling through an obstacle is actually the best way for someone to learn something. Embrace that!


Take a minute to interact with this reflection question.