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Faculty Insights Blog

Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences teachers and other faculty members share insights about childhood development and educational issues.

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Developing a Growth Mindset Culture

Mary Cay Ricci, Potential and Possibilities Educational Consulting LLC, author of Mindsets in the Classroom, Ready to Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom, led an interactive workshop with Barnesville teachers about components of a growth mindset learning environment. Discussion topics included deliberative cultivation of non-cognitive skills, conceptual understanding of neural networking, learning from our mistakes/failures, and growth mindset feedback.

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is understanding that intelligence is not fixed, but rather that that you can learn through effort, and thus achievement is more a factor of practice and persistence than innate talent.

Why does it matter?

When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students.

What can teachers do to help develop a growth mindset?

Teachers can challenge students to change their thinking about their abilities and potential by focusing on critical thinking and teaching students to learn from failure.

What can parents do?

All parents want their children to be successful in school, sports, and extracurricular activities. But it's not just about giving your kids praise or setting them on the right direction. Research shows that success is often dependent on mindset. Hard work, perseverance, and effort are all hallmarks of a growth mindset. Ricci’s book, Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids provides parents with a roadmap for developing a growth mindset home environment.
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Tips for Parents to Help With Student Stress -- Faculty Takeaways from the 2017 NAIS Annual Conference

Image from ClipArtFest by Ms. Toni McDonald from West Covina

photo: Image from ClipArtFest by Ms. Toni McDonald from West Covina

Donna Kaufman, Barnesville’s Teaching & Learning Coordinator, shared the following key points from a NAIS Annual Conference session titled “Stressed Out Kids Are The New Normal.”

To create an environment that helps students feel less anxious, parents need to focus on the process, not the end product. Let your child practice solving their own problems. It is important to let your child fail, as this will build resilience.

Key points for parents to understand:

  1. Anxiety runs in families.
  2. It is important to let your child experience anxiety.
  3. Parents can increase anxiety if they over monitor for stress.

Presenters suggested a “submarine” analogy. Parents should work to remain “below the surface.” Allow your child to experience some stress. Let your child problem-solve. Discuss possible strategies for what to do when faced with a problem. Parents can “rise up to the surface” when a problem appears to have become too large or too difficult for the child to manage without direct parent involvement.

Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences faculty and staff spent their March in-service day at the 2017 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference, the premier professional development event for teachers at independent schools. Barnesville participation was funded by the Jaralyn Hough Professional Development Fund, created in honor of Jaralyn (Jeri) Hough, Head of School from 1984-2006 to provide financial support for ongoing faculty enrichment.

Posted by Jan Hyland on Thursday March 30, 2017 at 09:51PM
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