Students at Burton Elementary have been talking a lot about Growth Mindset and having "grit." As professional development, the staff has been reading Angela Lee Duckworth's book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, on growth mindset and the idea of students having "grit", or a stick-to-it-ness to persevere when challenges come their way.
Students have taken home materials to share with their families about how we could all change our thinking from a "fixed" mindset to a "growth" mindset in order to confront challenges and failures more successfully.
A mindset, according to psychologist Carol Dweck who popularized the theory, is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves. Believing that you are either “intelligent” or “unintelligent” is a simple example of a mindset.
"In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. In a growth mindset."
Alternatively, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Dweck.
Additionally, Burton Elementary recently implemented their Acts of Kindness board which incentivizes deliberate and random acts of kindness amongst students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students "caught" performing an act of kindness are given a Badger Award as well as a sticker to put on a large bulletin board to display their positive behavior.
Principal Mandy Randles has always promoted amongst her student body two qualities that she considers to be the keys to success in life: kindness and hard work. These two recent initiatives reinforce these qualities, put them into practice, and make them real for students.