Growth Mindset: I Think I Can, I Think I Can!

By Susan Harrell, Executive Director



This picture is one of the first things I put in my office when I came to HSW. It was a treasured belonging of my late father. It reminds me of the childhood story of The Little Train That Could – one that my dad loved to read to us as children. “I think I can” was always his response when we met a challenge. It was his mantra – a reason behind his success as a businessman – and it became a simple but powerful life lesson for me.


Our students develop a growth mindset when they do something hard and realize that, though things can be hard, they can be mastered, especially when steps are broken down in a supportive environment. They learn that instead of saying “I can’t do that,” they should say “I can’t do that YET!” When we do something hard and then meet with success, it becomes easier to tackle the next challenge because we know that a positive outcome is very possible. At The Hill School of Wilmington, we embrace the concept of “grit,” and we love celebrating successes that result from having a growth mindset!