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Principals Message

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Principal’s Message

Date: November 27, 2011 Author: admin Categories: Principals Message

Welcome back! I hope you and your families enjoyed some special moments together during the changed pace of our school break. In four short weeks we will break again. In case you haven’t looked that far ahead yet, please note there is no school Friday, December 23.

Affirming Growing Minds
With new information from your parent/teacher conferences, you may be reflecting on your part in supporting your children’s success. The “mindset” work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck affirms that our minds are elastic and capable of continued growth—as long as we believe that dedication and effort are keys to learning. We are not simply born with fixed intelligence or talent; instead, each of our life experiences stretches our understanding and builds our capacity to learn more. Having a “growth mindset” allows us to take on daunting challenges and persevere until we succeed.

I would instantly join the 1 percent if I had a nickel for each time a parent shared, “I was never very good at that subject myself”—as if to explain their child is somehow doomed to a similar lack of success in math, reading, or writing. This “fixed mindset” undermines efforts to overcome difficulties, and severely limits our chances for success and self-confidence.

To support healthy beliefs about learning, be sure to praise effort and persistence, not talent: “You stayed with it and made a great pass this afternoon; nice work!” versus “You are a great soccer player.” “You worked through those problems all the way to the end; I’m proud of your effort,” versus “You’re a great mathematician—what a smart kid you are!” By acknowledging the vital role of patience, determination, and hard work, you teach your children they are capable of success in any situation—through their own efforts.

Best wishes,
John Triska