What is more valuable in leadership and school climate coming into an underperforming school... a growth mindset or a resilient mindset? When speaking in terms of mindset, perhaps resiliency is even more important with schools that were previously struggling. Acknowledgement of students that show grit and moxie, families who see our vision and are devoted to our mission despite what the state determines is our "grade," patience and determination of staff trying to make multiple years of gains with our students who deserve to have the achievement gap closed; these qualities are not always necessary in high-performing, low-poverty schools but are imperative in ours. While I feel a growth mindset is extremely important, I believe in order to succeed in a high-needs school, one must have a resilient mindset.
Example- "Your school lunch isn't nutritious enough"... Wait for it... "and this is why you're an F school."
"You're hallways don't have enough student work... and this is why you're an F school."
"You're letting the students have too much fun..."
"You're not letting the students have enough fun..."
"You're under disciplining other children.."
"You're expecting too much from my child..."
We wear it, we accept it, and at this point we expect it. I'm one of the weird administrators that loves feedback and genuinely tries to grow from it. In fact, I spent Friday night calling back a parent who wanted to share some observations. I appreciate the feedback and we are always looking to improve.
Honestly, I think what drives us forward isn't our growth mindset as a school it's our resilient mindset. This is not a sprint. This won't happen overnight. We know that huge gains today may slide back tomorrow, and that's ok. We are on a journey. If we focused only on our growth mindset we might get discouraged when we don't see the results of our labor immediately. This is tough work people. Only the strongest can handle this type of pressure and accountability.
We are in this together.
It's a fragile system... but our resilient mindset, #failforward moments, and hunger to consistently improve will be the game changer.
My point of view is that in our position, having a resilient mindset might be even more important than a growth mindset.
Thank you to an incredibly resilient TRIBE of Very Brave Educators!
We can and we will do this!