North Oaks Middle School

WEEKLY MEMO 5/16/2016


MISSION: The North Oaks' staff will ensure high levels of learning for every student.

VISION: In order to achieve our mission, we function collectively as a professional learning community.

POP: To enhance and ensure consistency in our PLCs.

Information and Reminders

  • Please check the duty roster. The last 3 weeks of school we will need to have everyone back at their duty stations. Thank you!
  • Tuesday is still our Chik-fil-A fundraiser day for staff. You must have your money to the office by the end of the day on Monday. Please remember to take your name off the list if you are not participating.
  • Don't forget the BrightBytes survey for staff. I believe the link was sent to you, but you can also get it form the BISD website.
  • Wear your blue 5K/Filed day shirts on Fridays!
  • Thanks to all of you that organized and were able to attend our 6th grade parent night. We had about 65 parents attend and they were able to get some valuable information to begin the school year.
  • Our last round of MS soccer games this Saturday, 5/14. Game times are 9:00 am and 11:00 am at the FAAC. Come out to support if you can.
  • Please consider allowing students to enhance grades with Compass, especially those in danger of failing for the year. There are of course those that have no way of catching up, however, there are some students that have failed only one or two six weeks, but because the grade was so low (30s or 40s), there is no mathematical way to recover. Again, please consider if there is an appropriate circumstance.
  • Title 1 parent meeting is this Wednesday at 4;00 pm.
  • Cookout coming May 27th!
  • Mr. Cook will be working on student EOY surveys. More to come this week.





G. Bland





Please be aware that you are on-call for your duty spot. Thanks!

Quote of The Week

I just started a book called, Mindset. It begins by describing two mindsets people have, either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. I will continue to pull quotes from the book by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.:

"The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value."

The fixed mindset suggests that "your qualities are carved in stone and creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over and every situation calls for a confirmation of intelligence, personality, or character."

(As I think about this quote, I think about my job. Do I evaluate my effectiveness based on data, or evaluations, or affirmations, or criticisms? Yes, I think I do sometimes. How might I internalize this information and turn it into a challenge or an opportunity to get better at what I do? Good stuff!)

The growth mindset is "based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts- everyone can change and grow through application and experience."

(This reminds me about "persistence" and the "power of choice" described in The Traveler's Gift. A focus on results and a belief in your potential is essential to your success.)

"The fixed mindset makes you concerned with how you'll be judged; the growth mindset makes you concerned with improving."

(So, when you consider feedback from data, surveys, and evaluations...which mindset are you?)

"Those with a fixed mindset want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed. But for those with the growth mindset, success is about stretching themselves. It's about becoming smarter."

(In an effort to challenge and "stretch" myself this year I am attending an 8 day seminar for Transformational Leadership. We spend a great deal of time on how to effectively move from the status quo and state of mediocrity, to a challenging mindset of innovation. Are you satisfied with what you do in the classroom every day? Does what you do this year look like what you did last year or maybe even the year before?

If we broaden the perspective a bit, the question might be, Are you satisfied with where you are in your professional, spiritual, and personal life? Wherever you are, I strongly encourage a "stretch" - it is invigorating!)

So, what about potential?

"Can tests or experts tell us what our potential is? The fixed mindset says yes.

...But isn't potential someone's capacity to develop their skills with effort over time? How can we know where effort and time will take someone? Maybe they are not yet the people they are to become."

(What will you become with your potential?)

"Lurking behind the self-esteem of the fixed mindset is a simple question: If you're somebody when you're successful, what are you when your are unsuccessful? Mindsets change the meaning of failure. When people believe their basic qualities can be developed, failures may still hurt, but failures don't define them. And if abilities can be expanded-if change and growth are possible-then there are still many paths to success."

(Great question: Is growth and change an option for you?)

"Many growth-minded people did not even plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. It's ironic: The top is where the fixed-mindset hunger to be, but it's where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do...they value what they're doing regardless of the outcome."

(I feel blessed to work with so many that are genuinely "enthusiastic" about what they do each day. It is inspiring for me and perhaps more importantly, it is contagious! Which of your colleagues exudes enthusiasm and what might others think of yours?)

"It's tempting to create a world in which we're perfect. We can choose partners, make friends, hire people who make us feel faultless. But think about it-do you want to never grow? Next time your tempted to surround yourself with worshipers, go to church. In the rest of your life, seek constructive criticism."

(It is sometimes difficult to listen and value constructive criticism or feedback. Chances are - those of you with growth mindset tendencies value and appreciate many different modes of feedback. This is definitely an area of growth for me- I need to make more of an effort to solicit constructive feedback. You?)

"The fixed mindset limits achievement. It fills people's minds with interfering thoughts, it makes effort disagreeable, and leads to inferior learning strategies. What's more, it makes other people into judges instead of allies...important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning."

(Sounds like a growth-minded PLC to me.)

"The growth mindset lets people-even those who are targets of negative labels-use and develop their minds fully. Their heads are not filled with limiting thoughts, a fragile sense of belonging, and a belief that other people can define them."

Grow your mindset: Think about your hero. Do you think of this person as someone with extraordinary abilities who achieved with little effort? Now go find out the truth. Find out the tremendous effort that went into their accomplishment-and admire them more.

(This statement reminds me of the "discretionary effort" described in the "who's sinking your boat" video we watched in the fall. I believe you are admired more than you will ever know.)

"Think of times other people outdid you and you just assumed they were smarter or more talented. Now consider the idea that they just used better strategies, taught themselves more, practiced harder, and worked their way through obstacles. You can do that, too, if you want to..."

"Are you in a fixed-mindset or growth-mindset workplace? Do you feel people are just judging you or are they helping you develop? Maybe you could try making it a more growth-mindset place, starting with yourself. Are there ways you could be less defensive about your mistakes? Could you profit more from the feedback you get? Are there ways you can create more learning experiences for yourself?"

(Great questions to consider?)

Sports-Findings form the mindsets of champions

#1: Those with the growth mindset found success in doing their best, in learning, and improving.

#2: Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They're informative. They're a wake-up call.

#3: People with the growth mindset in sports took charge of the processes that bring success-and that maintain it.

"When people drop the good-bad, strong-weak thinking that grows out of the fixed mindset, they're better able to learn useful strategies that help with self-control. Every lapse doesn't spell doom. It's like anything else in the growth mindset. It's a reminder that you're an unfinished human being and a clue to how to do it next time."

More to come...have a great week!