DavenportThank you educators for sending in your growth mindset strategies!

Grading and Assessment for a growth mindset was a common theme in your responses to our last newsletter. Many teachers wrote in about how they have innovated to create growth mindset assessment practices! We are pleased to share Rebecca Davenport's tip from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN:

"My middle school girls and I coined the phrase "I'm a girl, not a grade!" to remind them of all the wonderful parts of their lives that cannot be measured by a letter grade. In school, it is easy for students to attach too much worth to the outcomes and final grades; this underestimates the importance of the learning process. When students reflect on the most important parts of their lives, they begin to understand that they are not C+ or A- people, but bright and capable young women.

This phrase morphs when they say, "I'm a _______, not a grade!" They fill in the blank with words that promote a growth mindset (artist, mathematician, problem solver, sister, listener, etc.)For some students, this phrase is meaningful the day that they hear it. For others, it is not relevant until they make their first low grade. One student said that she did not understand "I'm a girl, not a grade" until she made her first B. She shared that she was proud of this grade because she earned it while holding the lead role in the school play. "I'm an actress, not a grade!"

The girls understand that a grade reflects a level of preparation at a given point in time, but does not and will not determine the person they are becoming and will be! I laugh when I tell my students that I've never had an adult conversation that was about grades. As we move through life, we use more appropriate measures to determine who is "good" at something. We look to people who are caring, empathetic, motivated, and visionary to inspire us. Not many adults hope to makes A's at their life's work, because we know the importance of the journey and not the final outcome."

Thank you for your entry Rebecca!  

We are reaching out to many more of you to shine a spotlight on your strategies too!  If you have a growth mindset strategy to share you may post in the comments below or send it in on this form.