When my students take tests or quizzes, I like to walk around the room to check on their progress, ensure they understand my questions, and whisper encouragement where it’s needed. I read their body language and watch them respond to the challenge of particularly difficult sections. In these unguarded moments, I see their mindsets laid bare: some attack the assessment with bravado and glee, eager for the challenge. Others come to the page with hesitation and concern, in doubt of their abilities or second-guessing their preparation.
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This article is adapted from a post that previously appeared on www.quietrev.com.
In my 2012 TED Talk, I told the story of going off to summer camp for the first time at age nine. My mother had packed my bag full of books. Reading was our primary group activity—and I liked it that way. It gave us the animal warmth of sitting cozily with the family, and the freedom to roam around the adventure-land inside our own minds.