As a school we will have many goals this year but one that I want to highlight early in the year is ensuring that all students have a growth mindset. This summer some teacher leaders and I went to a training that discussed instilling a growth mindset with our kids as opposed to a fixed mindset. We walked away very excited.
What are a fixed and growth mindsets, you may ask? A fixed mindset is when students (or adults) think that they have innate abilities that allow them, or don’t allow them, to complete a task. A fixed mindset looks at a test score as an end instead of a beginning, as a piece of evidence that tells us what we don’t know instead of what we are going to learn.
We want our students to know that they can always grow and that no task is out of their reach. How many of you have said, “Well, I’m just not that good at….” We want our students to say, “I’m not good at…yet” or, “This test tells me that I have to use the text more when I’m looking for answers.” We want them to know that we never stop learning and that there is nothing that they can’t learn. We want them to know that effort is more important than innate abilities.
The training on growth mindsets made me examine my own beliefs about my own abilities. Why aren’t I good at home repairs? I’m a decent problem solver and I have good dexterity; in the end I realized I just don’t practice and I have very little confidence in myself when working around the house. So now I try home repairs, I ask for help and I research stuff when I need to. I realized that I’m not good at home repairs…yet I truly believe if I work at it, I will be.
As a staff we believe that our students deserve and need a growth mindset to enjoy learning and also to reach their full potential. We look forward to working with students who are problem solvers and who know that they are capable of whatever they put their minds to. We are excited to give students problems that they struggle with and to teach them not to quit, to teach them to use a variety of strategies that allow them to persevere.
I know that with our amazing students, staff and community we are going to have another fantastic year at Steele!