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Achieving Success Through Hard Work, Grit, and Perseverance
by Katherine Moore, Crestwood Elementary School
Last year we began a school-wide Growth Mindset initiative. With the help of a private donation, we created a new program for a new way of thinking. Most of our students come from a very low socio-economic background, and often times they come to us with a "learned helplessness" mindset, a fixed mindset. With the help of Mindset Works®, Carol Dweck's research, and a few passionate teachers, we began the year aimed at making a difference in student outcomes simply by changing the way we think.
To Foster Change, We Must Believe in Change
Once our staff began to see the long-term benefits of holding a growth mindset, our school culture and climate began to change. Teachers began to see in themselves, the outcomes they wanted to see in their students. Through hard work, effort and determination, our student's mindset began to shift. Our students have begun to realize that they can't always control what they are given. However, with a tool belt full of strategies, they can power through their struggles (academically and personally).
Fiske Students, Parents, and Educators Learn Transferable Skills
Growth mindset movements may share a common foundation, but in practice, they can be a bit like snowflakes: no two are alike! Mindset interventions are teacher-led movements, and we love learning about new and evolving strategies developed by educators on the ground.
Julie Verret, music teacher at Fiske Elementary and elementary band leader for all of the Wellesley, MA School District, wrote to us describing how a growth mindset helped her band students tackle a challenging piece of music. Julie applied the malleable mind concept to her music students because of multi-year, school-wide growth mindset work led by the principal. Verret introduced the idea that a musician's brain can grow with effort and practice. To put this concept into action, Julie and her 4th and 5th grade students worked on a piece of music that would typically be played at the middle school level.