February 5, 2016
Growth Mindset for All
I was so excited to hear that Ten Marks and Carol Dweck partnered together on the Growth Mindset philosophy in math. Having that mindset is a key predictor in success for children as the growth mindset is one of resilience, forward thinking, and optimism. Remembering that a struggle only means growth and that mistakes are symbolic of trying new things, we all need to remember those concepts as comfort zones are disrupted due to changing times.
This time of year is challenging in schools when allocations are designated and change is inevitable. I want everyone to realize and understand, that when someone is asked to change a grade level or to a new team, that it is a decision that has come about after reviewing many factors. First of all and foremost, it's all about what is best for kids. It doesn't always seem like that at first to the individuals changing teams or levels, but I am here to say, that is the case. Right now, the situation is we are being cut one and a half teachers, which technically equals two people because we have no part-time teachers. The way the transfers work, the newest teachers become priority transfers and are guaranteed positions in the system. That of course, ends up causing a daisy chain of moves to fill positions. The hope is we will gain allocations back and be able to keep everyone where they want to be and keep everyone happy! Well, that last part is just plain impossible. However, I want everyone to reflect on how some of the changes in staffing over the last few years have worked out in very positive ways for the kids and teams. At first, there is always a shock that there will be a change and then the idea settles in. Of course people are apprehensive, but please know, if any of you are asked to switch positions, it will be because I HAVE THE UTMOST CONFIDENCE IN YOU and that YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL in that position. It will because I have looked at your strengths and the big picture of grade level dynamics, that I have looked at certifications, and that ultimately, I know it will be a good fit for our children. I truly hate to lose people, disrupt the harmonious teams and units that are in existence, and create havoc among our staff, but sadly, that's how it works sometimes. One of your wise colleagues used the analogy of running a school being like the coach of a football team with me today. You can be sure the coaches of the Broncos and the Panthers are looking at the whole picture and the right fit for every player to achieve that winning score even though all of them wish they were Peyton Manning! That naturally starts with winning and talented players, who are skilled and on the top of their game as well as determined to make it work and be the winners. TEAM DEY has just that...determined and talented professionals that have what it takes to do great things for kids every day, take risks, and jump into the heat to create a learning environment that wins the big game, which for us, is a top notch education for all 850 of our children.
So, please encourage each other and know that any and all decisions are not made lightly or casually. Please don't assume it is a negative reflection on anyone as actually, it's the opposite. Some initial moves have been made, but there are more to come and nothing is set in stone at this time and frankly, it all is subject to change which I know makes no one feel any better.
Remember we are all a part of the same team and are here for the same reasons. We need to stay on top of our game, accept challenges as opportunities and stay focused forward for the sake of our children. I personally have faith and confidence in all of the staff members and teachers of this school and feel that your strengths and skills are in abundance. This team is a winning team for sure and I appreciate and admire everything you do every day.
Enjoy the Super Bowl and I hope your team wins (as long as it's the Panthers :) )and I hope to see many of you at Gwen's big party tomorrow!