One of the best books I’ve read in the last few years is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D. In the book, Dweck writes about how a “fixed mindset” can hinder us from success, while a growth mindset, can help us see a challenge and use it to make us better.
For me, I have a fixed mindset about athletics. I was the kid who hated to go to gym class, and was never picked for the team. I avoided gym as much as I could, and never found the enjoyment in exercise. This fixed mindset still hinders me today, as I don’t like going to the gym and find any excuse to not go. However, if I decided to have a growth mindset about exercise, I would find something that I could enjoy (even a little bit) to get me started back on the road to the gym. Hmm…maybe I’ll try that after I finish this blog…
On the other hand, I have a growth mindset about teaching, which is probably one of the reasons I love my job. When an issue arises, I look at it like a challenge and how can I make it better and see a change for the good of the students. I have done this many times over the years and continue to, which always makes each day different and interesting.
I bring up the idea of fixed and growth mindsets in November because our first report cards will be coming out soon. Often, new parents have a fixed mindset about report cards due to our cultural assumptions (A’s are the best, C is failing, etc.). Now, our report card is a number scale, not by letter grades. However, i have had parents equate the two and that is not how the report card should be read. Instead, I’d like to encourage you to look at your child’s report card with a growth mindset – what are their strengths and places for growth? What ways can you and I help your child see these areas as a challenge to work on rather than a weakness that they will never recover from? Most importantly, how can we work together to help your child succeed?
I have created grading rubrics, which you will find on this website for all the areas I assess in the report card. Mrs. Detrich did this for Art, and I thought it was a great idea. The rubrics are there to help you understand your child’s report card and to see all the ways we learn in Kindergarten.
I hope this helps!