Last week’s Coffee with the Principal focused on an exploration into mindsets and their power when it comes to teaching and learning, and developing our capacities to be global citizens. Those in attendance engaged in a thought-provoking sorting of statements we might make about our beliefs about things like intelligence, talent, and the degree to which these are characteristics that we can develop.
Participants were sparked with many questions and ideas about their assumptions, and the assumptions of others, including their children, and how these assumptions guide our decisions. We rather quickly realized that many terms that we take for granted are actually open to interpretation, resulting in a clear benefit of any group of people discussing the strengths, performance, and future capacity of themselves and others are well-advised to develop common, operational definitions of key terms, especially those with power in our culture and minds.
It was exciting to share our thoughts and the group voiced a collective desire to have our students at Lanier experience a similar opportunity to delve into their own mindsets and the power contained within them. Parents in attendance requested that we develop an 8thgrade event, preferably scheduled on a weekend very soon, to explore mindfulness, mindset, and how these and other factors weigh into the upcoming important decision of prioritizing high schools. I share their enthusiasm, and Mr. Williams (8thgrade Assistant Principal), Mr. Giroir (Leadership Teacher), and I are beginning to think this through and reaching out to our new social worker, Mr. Maluski, to get his input and see if we can do this as soon as possible after he begins to work with us on November 1st.
If you are interested in delving into the power of a growth mindset, Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth are some key authors to consider. This TED talk by Carol Dweck is one of my favorites; I have seen firsthand throughout my career the power of reframing our current levels of achievement relative to aspiration as “not yet.” Carol Dweck TED talk: The Power of Believing You Can Improve