By Tim Peraino, CFD, MSBO Board Member, Director of Facilities, Kent ISD
“Growth Mindset” seems to be a popular buzzword in education these days. In simple terms, it is used to describe a student’s belief that they can learn and grow from new experiences. These are students that will show greater levels of achievement in school and will exert more effort to expand their knowledge because they believe they can increase their abilities. As a result of the direct correlation to student achievement, several assessments are currently being done across the state to measure growth mindset.
Having a growth mindset, however, is not something that is critical for just student success. Growth mindsets have also been shown to be indicators of individuals that embrace change and feel more empowered and committed in their work. Organizations that have a growth mindset have been shown to be more supportive of collaboration and innovation. These organizations embrace change and encourage risk-taking in support of finding solutions to difficult issues or challenges.
By contrast, individuals or organizations that have a fixed mindset are less open to the process that brings about change. Individuals with fixed mindsets believe that their talents or abilities are innate and cannot expand to encompass new things. Organizations with fixed mindsets will focus on performance outcomes and not recognize or prioritize collaboration or innovation. Often, traits such as flexibility and open-mindedness are used erroneously to describe oneself as having a growth mindset. While these are important traits for every person and organization, those with a growth mindset will go a step further and both expect and embrace change to evolve and grow. And perhaps most importantly, adopting a growth mindset is something any one of us can do at any age. None of us are hard wired one way or the other, and the adage, “you can’t teach an old dog a new trick” does not apply!
What does all of this mean for those of us working in schools? If we have learned one thing over the course of the last 18 months, it is that change can come at us both quickly and unexpectedly. Many of us are still being asked to tackle challenges we have previously never faced, and some of us are feeling overwhelmed or burned out. Accepting these challenges as a means to grow, learn, and evolve, however, can help us develop a different perspective when it comes to navigating the unknown. If you are starting to feel the weight of change, seek out those folks in your district with a growth mindset and work collaboratively to develop new solutions. Instead of seeing these new challenges as roadblocks, begin to view them merely as hurdles that you can and will figure out how to overcome. And when you are on the other side of these hurdles, you will have expanded your knowledge and attained the skills necessary to handle similar challenges in the future. Remember, you are never too old to learn new things!
Other Articles in this Newsletter
- Challenge Yourself with the MSBO Leadership Institute
- Collaboration is the Heart of it All – Dena Mayer
- Investing in MSBO Members: Certification Track Scholarships
- MSBO Board Elections: Thinking of Running?
- MSBO Update – David Martell
- Piper and Stebbins Scholarships are an MSBO Tradition
- Recognizing MSBO Members
- Save the Date! Don’t Miss out on These Professional Development Opportunities.
- Welcome New Members