Consistent conversations are part of continuous improvement. Having regular and frequent purposeful conversations is what propels a strong culture of growth. It is also indicative of a flourishing school.
Having Professional Learning communities and dedicated time and space to develop as instructors is important. Professional Learning Communities within schools look at the aspect of teaching and learning in order to learn more, inspect deeper, and propose improvement. For example, at Salem Christian School, the teachers are in learning communities that investigate: how to improve aspects of the math program; how to be more effective in using the Learning Management System, how to improve English Language Arts instruction. They meet weekly or bi-weekly on these things. Every third Wednesday of the month we all meet to continue the ongoing conversation of how to build capacity and be more effective in our instruction.
This past Wednesday during our professional development time, we discussed a Growth Mindset. A Growth Mindset (Dweck, 199; 2006; 2012) is an incident based upon a philosophy of life or worldview (Dweck, 2012). This incident or value held within the worldview is one of looking to grow or improve. An “I can do it” attitude rather than “it is hard so I can’t” attitude. In a school that looks at developing a worldview this is intriguing, God is expecting us to constantly be growing. However, He expects us to do this under His strength and guidance. Of course, for His purpose. As a Christian and a Christian school educator, should we not always be looking to grow? Grow our faith, knowledge, and love? A growth mindset is required of a follower of Christ. We are to continually be looking to love God more with our minds. And, love God more with our bodies. And, love God more with our hearts. And, love God more with our souls. Every part of our being should be a reflection of a mindset that focuses on growing so that God is glorified more every day by our worldview and actions.
I pray that we continue to have a mindset focused on growth. Moreover, I pray that we have a worldview that is indistinguishable from the way God would have us think. Then, we will behave the way God would have us be.
Heckhausen, J., & Dweck, C. S. (Eds.). (1998). Motivation and self-regulation across the life span. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dweck, C. S. (1999). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
Elliot, A. J., & Dweck, C. S. (Eds.). (2005). Handbook of competence and motivation. New York: Guilford.
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindset: How you can fulfill your potential. Constable & Robinson Limited.