Welcome to the 2016-17 school year at CBGS!! I hope it has been a good summer for all, and that our students are ready for a great year of learning and fun. The faculty and staff at CBGS have taken a break, too; but we feel eager to start up again.
A new school year always provides the opportunity for a fresh start. When we reflect on past years that were successful, teachers or students may be tempted to approach the upcoming year expecting a repeat performance. That’s okay, except when the next year brings an unexpected challenge and a repeat of that great year doesn’t look so promising. Alternatively, when things didn’t go so well the prior year, we may be feeling some dread about what’s to come. Yet facing the new year with hope and enthusiasm could be the key to better results. How might we be sure we really use that fresh start?
Undoubtedly many of you have heard about Stanford researcher Carol Dweck’s work on mindset. In her words (from mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/index.html):
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
It is so important – at CBGS and elsewhere – that we have a community of teachers and learners who embrace a growth mindset. The coursework is difficult, but we know are students are up for the challenge. The love of learning and resilience that Dweck refers to are what we most want our students to develop.
We’ll spend this year working on that love of learning, through the vehicles of amazing science topics and stimulating mathematics. Students and parents: let us know how we’re doing. We want to have a growth mindset, too; and get better and better all the time at being an exemplary place for students in these critical high school years.