Carroll Dragon's Breath~JANUARY



Mental Health and Wellness Monthly Topics

  • August: Transition Tips for Success
  • September: Hope/Trust
  • October: Courage/Character/Integrity
  • November: Honor and Relationships (Kindness)
  • December: Joy and Gratitude
  • January: Knowledge/Excellence
  • February: Creativity/Unity
  • March: Forgiveness/Compassionate Service
  • April: Humility/Open and Honest Communication
  • May: Determination/Resilience

Positioning Students to Thrive: Build a Growth Mindset

There’s something that every child and adolescent needs to believe with every cell in their bodies. When they do, they will thrive. There is a powerful way that we, as the adults in their lives, can nurture this belief and set them up to learn, grow and flourish.

They need to know that their brains can grow stronger – measurably stronger – with time and effort. Some children will have been born believing this, but others will be certain that they are as they are and that nothing will change that.

Children generally tend towards one of two types of mindsets – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Praise that focuses on intelligence promotes a fixed mindset, which is the belief that intelligence cannot be changed in any meaningful way. Children with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with certain character traits and a fixed amount of intelligence and creativity and that nothing they do will change that in any meaningful way.

In contrast, praise that focuses on effort (‘You’ve worked really hard on that!) promotes a growth mindset, which is the belief that intelligence can grow and be strengthened with effort. Children with a growth mindset believe that they are capable of achieving what they want if they put in the time and effort to get there.

Here are some of the big differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

  • A growth mindset fosters motivation, resilience, and persistence. A fixed mindset kills it.

    Children who have a growth mindset, on the other hand, are more likely to keep working hard towards a goal, believing that all that stands between them and success is the right amount of effort.

  • Children with a fixed mindset are more likely to interpret difficulty as confirmation that they don’t have what it takes. If success means they are clever (‘You did it! You’re so clever!’), then a lack of success means they aren’t. Praising children for effort will lift them above the times they don’t do as well as they would like. They will interpret a lack of success as a sign that they need to work a little harder or differently, rather than as evidence of a personal deficiency.

  • When given the choice between a challenging task or an easy task, children with a fixed mindset will be more likely to choose the easy task. If children believe their intelligence is fixed and impossible to change, it is understandable that they will choose easy tasks to prove themselves. Children with a growth mindset will embrace a challenge, seeing it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

  • Children with a fixed mindset will be more likely to interpret failure as evidence of their lack of intelligence or capability. Failure isn’t so bleak for kids with a growth mindset. They have a healthy attitude toward failure, seeing it as an opportunity to learn. Even when they are disappointed, they are able to keep their confidence intact and bounce back from the stumbles, believing they have it in them to succeed if they keep working at it.

  • Children who believe their performance will be attributed to intelligence, or to something about themselves that can’t be changed, will be more likely to hide their struggles and lie about their mistakes. On the other hand, children with a growth mindset will be more likely to seek help when something gets in their way, believing the capability is in them, but they just need a hand to find it.


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In this month's newsletter, we would like to focus on knowledge and excellence. We believe that every student has unique talents, gifts, and abilities to positively impact the world around them.

Mastering beneficial lifelong learning skills help us work, learn, and live better.

They have to do with how we connect with each other and with the world around us. In many ways, they're also about building relationships.


This isn't just a valuable learning pursuit; it's also vital to success in school and in the workplace. Ultimately, creativity is a common language we can all learn to communicate our passions and ideas with.


As far as beneficial lifelong learning skills go, this one is probably the most important. Solving real-world problems is crucial to surviving and thriving in the present and future. The world is changing and will continue changing dramatically. As such our children will be solving future problems that we can't even imagine yet. They'll face challenges that require skills to define a problem, design an appropriate solution, and put it to effective use.


The ability to think critically is a must for future success in a changing world. It's about thinking independently, responsibly, and productively. The way we think about the world, ourselves and each other affects more than just personal experience. It has a part in defining the future of everything and everyone and the entire world—this is the "Ripple Effect." It's been a part of many cultural philosophies for thousands of years, reminding us that how we choose to think and act influences our whole world.


Understanding leadership is one of those beneficial lifelong learning skills that can change people's lives. After all, one who leads isn't just one who manages things. What a leader does is inspire, motivate, and empower. True leaders see the best in people and teach them to harness their potential in all they do. Natural leaders are an asset in any classroom and on every workforce. Anyone whose attitude moves from "I can do it" to "we can do it" makes everybody better. It's their independence and willingness to take responsibility for making good things happen, not just simply getting things done. That's why leaders see more, do more, and learn more.


In the digital age, communication has transformed beyond face-to-face interaction. We communicate using technology more than ever. Even so, whatever medium we choose there are skills we can acquire to help us communicate more effectively. In school, we work in groups to produce solutions to the challenges and problems we face. Having communication skills means less stress, more productivity, and better relationships.


This means being able to work in groups that are both physical and virtual. It includes proficiency in communication, empathy, and leadership values. Working in groups is a hallmark of the digital age. Our classrooms incorporate teamwork into their daily practices. As such, collaborative abilities have a permanent place among the most beneficial lifelong learning skills all students should develop.


Dealing with information means we can determine what is valuable and discard what is spurious or questionable. This is important for producing solutions and products that are genuine and useful. It's also an aspect of research and proper attribution of sources, things every good digital citizen needs to know.


As for life itself, it will always have challenges, no matter how well things are going. Being able to adapt to change in all its forms keeps us constantly prepared to survive and succeed no matter what climate we're in.


Lifelong learning is driven by curiosity. Outside the rigors of school, there is no educator or peer to motivate us to learn and expand our minds. Developing curiosity is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial lifelong learning skills you can have. Simply put, without curiosity, there is no learning. Nurturing curiosity can lead to moments where a learner says, "wow, I never expected that in school." This is exactly the kind of reaction that indicates kids actually can fall in love with learning. As such, they're the kinds of moments teachers strive to create.


As we learn, we acquire new skills and knowledge for various uses. However, none of that knowledge is any good if we don't consider how it has helped us or others. If we are going to place our attention on learning something we must consider the merits of learning it before, during, and after the learning happens. Otherwise, we have engaged in empty learning for no reason. In any kind of learning, asking reflective questions always matters. Beneficial lifelong learning skills must include reflecting on learning because it's what gives learning real meaning.


As teachers, we don’t just want our learners to do their work well when they’re in the classroom. Arguably the fundamental purpose of education is to foster a desire to learn well beyond students’ school years, as well as foster excellent critical thinking skills. Critical thinkers, after all, are also lifelong learners.

The Resiliency Project


Braver. Smarter. Stronger.

Braver than yesterday. Smarter today.

Stronger than challenges coming my way.

Contact Us


Ziba Johnston JES 817-949-4500

Katrina Hunt CES 817-949-4300

Nicole Stolle OUES 817-949-4600

Kim Coffman RES 817-949-4700

Dana Gamache WGES 817-949-4400

Susan Hester DIS 817-949-5300

Andrea Ragnow DIS 817-949-5300

Heather Kennedy EIS 817-949-5200

Amanda Garcia EIS 817-949-5200