Mindsets in the Classroom: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Mindsets in the Classroom, Mary Cay Ricci 

What Messages Should Parents Hear About Growth Mindset?

"If any adult in a child's life communicates low expectations either verbally or nonverbally, then achievement can suffer." 
This line from the book really jumped out at me.  As an educator I KNOW this and I try to model positive encouragement when dealing with parents one on one but how am I sharing that ideal with all of my parents on a day to day basis?  
Oh boy, time for some self reflection again! 

We have all sat in a parent/teacher conference and heard a parent say, 
"He's just not good at math, he's just like me" or 
"I never liked to read, I guess she got that from me".  
I cringe.......literally cringe when I hear those remarks. 
I have been frustrated with this for years and never really have found the appropriate response. 
How do I teach my parents how to teach their children to be positive?  
To take on a challenge?  
To be risk taker and try something new?
To not give up when something is hard? 

Communication is key (it's always the key!) and if we want to truly have a community that supports a growth mindset we need to communicate this to parents.  I love some of the ideas that were shared in the back of the book as examples to put in your newsletter.  I can also put links to articles on my class website and Facebook page.  More importantly if our students are beginning to build their resiliency at school (with growth mindset praise, modeling flexibility, encouraging optimism, and finding their niche) then they will take those encouraging words with them and share them at home.  

One quick quote from a Kindergartener and I will let you go....
One of my parents shared this with me at Parent/Teacher conferences last February.  Her son was working on something with his dad and when they were all finished dad asked, 
"What do you think?"
Her son responded, "Well I really like the way you _________, but next time you could add _________ to make it even better".  
(I can't remember what they were working on, but you get the idea!)
This is the EXACT wording we use during our share time in Writer's Workshop.  We always start with a positive comment and then give a "help for next time" to help each other become better writers.  They listen, learn,  and soak in every thing we do and say at school.  That is encouragement enough for me to be mindful of what I say and how I encourage them in the classroom!   

Janae from The Sharpened Pencil shared some really great resources on Hello Sunshine today.  They are perfect resources to send home to support a growth mindset community!