This year, my school’s theme is Grit. Our goal is to build academic skills through teaching students self-awareness, passion, perseverance and an overall growth mindset. Thinking about themes from my previous school years, it has been a while since I’ve really connected with one and had been able to incorporate it into my teaching. This year’s theme is one that I can make personal in my life as well as blend it into my teaching. Over the years I have noticed how education has moved from what seemed like a “whole child” approach to what feels like a “just barely touching the surface” approach to teaching.
Although I absolutely love what I do, the past few years in the classroom have been a blur. There is so much that the kids are required to learn, know and be able to do that it felt like I was always “on” and really didn’t have a chance or the time to get to know my students. It is expected that the behaviors and attitudes of students will change from year to year but it seemed that the more pressure we put on students to perform academically and on standardized tests, the worse the behaviors and attitudes got. From the moment students set foot on campus, they are expected to perform academically with no end in sight for the next seven to seven in a half hours.
This growth mindset feature of our school’s theme this year, I think, will not only help students find and develop their passion and educational purpose but also expose teachers to a new way of viewing students. Our districts theme, the past few years has been, Preparing Students for Life. I think once we teach students how to build resilience and tenacity within, they will then be able to see the need for developing their academic skills.
On a personal note, I love the thought of the growth mindset. I have always believed that perseverance and hard work will go a long way. I can never give up because hope and something better is just around the next corner. I heard a talk show host a few days ago say, “keep the faith and never give up. Believe that God will do just what he said he will do but losing faith is like moving to Despair Blvd. All of God’s blessing will be delivered to you on Faith St and that is where you need to stay. You move and you will miss God’s blessings.”
Never stop growing…:)