Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brrrr!

Winter is here and preparing to hit us all right in the face with severe cold. We can complain and worry or bundle up and face it. I personally prefer the latter. This is what makes us all hearty New Englanders! We get to experience the fun and excitement of extreme weather. Wouldn't 68 and sunny all the time get boring? We have snow to play in, ice to skate on and I guarantee Hot Chocolate tastes a lot better here than in Los Angeles at this time of year. And if we head outside and are freezing...well we can go back in, throw on another layer and get back to the wintery fun!

This is the resilient outlook we want our students to learn. They need to see the positive in things. Too often, they worry about grades and final products without enjoying the process or feeling good about hard work. Children need to feel that bumps in the road (a low test grade, a failed experiment, a troubled relationship with a friend) are things they can learn from. They need to be able to move from "I can't do this" to "This may be difficult but I will work hard and get it" or "He's mad at me, we can't be friends anymore" to "We had an issue, we'll work it out soon".

You may hear the term Growth Mindset from your child. Teachers are working diligently this year to try to instill this way of thinking. Based on the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, students are learning how to move from a fixed mindset (people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort Dweck ) to a growth mindset (people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment Dweck).

You can help by praising and modeling effort and resilience. So here's to the resilience of us hearty New Englanders and the growth mindset we can instill in our children to make them truly successful in the future.

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