Embodying a Growth Mindset

Blackwell Elementary School counselor, Lisa King, published her first children’s book.

Now in her 23rdyear as a school counselor, Lisa King of Blackwell Elementary School, often found herself realizing gaps existing in children’s literature.  One of the leading experts on integrating growth mindset in schools, King knew that growth mindset was one of these areas of need.

King always wanted to be a writer. In the 6thgrade, she wrote a novel for her friends.  They’d eagerly anticipate the next chapter and King found herself enjoying the process. Years later in 2005, she pitched her first children’s book and was met with rejection.  Her publishers suggested that she write a manual instead, and her first resource for counselors, Making the Link, was born.  King seemed to find her niche in writing manuals and went on to publish five more – Academic Advisement Program, Teaching Career Essentials, How to Create a College Day, Mindset Matters, and Integrating Growth Mindset in Schools.  However, her desire to write a children’s book never went away.

The process was discouraging with many highs and lows, but she kept trying, then failing, and then trying some more.  She truly embodied the concept of growth mindset throughout the process; not only was she talking the talk, she was also walking the walk of making mistakes, persevering, and not giving up.  Finally, she created an idea for a children’s book that took off and 14 months later, her hard work paid off.  Be Your Own Herois a story about perseverance and heroes, with embedded lessons for social/emotional as well as career development that educators can use with their students.

The story helps kids discover their own inner hero.  King shares, “We often teach children that heroes are famous because of something they did, but it’s just as important to teach them that heroes are remembered for who they are.”  King shows us what it means to be a hero; it has to do with having the courage to believe in yourself, overcome obstacles, and make the world a better place for those around you.

With over 50 five-star ratings on Amazon, it would appear King’s newest contribution has met the mark with educators as well as parents.  At the CCSD elementary school counselors’ best practices meeting, King read her book to her counseling colleagues – something she was incredibly nervous about.  Once again, she took her own medicine and faced the challenge with gusto.  The room was filled of encouragement and appreciation for the new resource.  One school counselor shared that she bought copies of the book in bulk to gift to all of the children in her personal life due to the memorable and important lessons shared in the story.

Alexandra Huguelet, School Counseling Consultant
School Counseling

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