Have you ever told your child that he or she is smart? Of course you have! We all want our children to be self confident. We want them to feel that no mountain is too high, no valley too wide...(Thank you, Diana Ross). However, what is "Smart"? Are we born smart? Can someone learn to be smart or are some people just unfortunate victims of poor genetics?
Current Brain Research suggests that one's intelligence is not fixed. Human minds are capable of improving. People who understand this concept have developed a "Growth Mindset". The Administration and Staff at Beachland Elementary have also adopted a Growth Mindset.
What does this mean? This means that all children can achieve greatness. You may not hear a teacher say that your child is smart. Why? Because no matter where the child is in his or her development, they need to continue to grow. Therefore, instead of celebrating your child's perfectness, the mistakes will be valued. Children will be encouraged to treat their mistakes as opportunities instead of failures. The effort that your child puts into improving will be praised. This gives students the freedom to take risks that they may otherwise avoid. How many times have you been afraid to be wrong? It is this fear that keeps us from success.
As parent we can help our children have a growth mindset. Instead of telling them that they are Smart, we can teach them that we all must work to become smarter. When they complain about the difficulty of the concepts they are struggling to learn, we can show them that the struggle is ok. It is part of the process. Just as sweating it out at the gym is part of exercising our bodies.
So, in keeping with a growth mindset, I will as PTA President, encourage our PTA board to also embody this philosophy. We will constantly evaluate ourselves. We will welcome critique (but please be nice). We will strive to learn and grow in order to do better next time. We will praise every parent and volunteer for the efforts that they give. My philosophy when I began this PTA journey was,
"Live. Learn. Grow." I invite everyone reading this to join the Beachland Family as we do just that!