Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's all in our Mindset!

It's all in here...and in you.
(click to enlarge, click again to begin slide show)
What if you could change one thing in your life, and by changing that one thing you could change everything?

According to Dr. Carol Dweck's research, that "one thing" is your mindset, as she shares in her book, Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success.

In the book, Dr. Dweck asserts that everyone has either a fixed or growth mindset (or a combination of the two).  These mindsets determine not only how we view ourselves, but how we view our friends, family, coworkers and most importantly for us as educators, our students.

It's an idea so startlingly simple and powerful, it's hard to believe that we don't already know it!

Mance Park Librarian Jean Qualtrough recognizes the Fixed Mindset...

...and Eighth Grade Science Teacher Melissa Hunziker
recognizes the Growth Mindset.
As Publishers Weekly aptly describes in the following review excerpt . . .

"A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as... well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness."

When our Superintendent Dr. Steve Johnson read this book, he knew that this would be the perfect candidate for our first ever district-wide Huntsville ISD Book Club.  
Mance Park Teachers (and coaches)  Stephanie Dunn (foreground) and Jamie Lorenz (background)
 share their thoughts on Mindset.
Dr. Johnson pulled a group of campus leaders together to read it last fall, and then garnered their experiences and asked our department to create a course to function as a structure for district-wide participation.  

Can you think of a time you faced an important opportunity or challenge with a fixed mindset?  What were your thoughts and worries- about your abilities?  about other people's judgements?  about the possibility of failure?  These discussion topics will make you think, and reflect.

This spring, each employee at each campus and department in Huntsville ISD is participating in reading groups.

Two sides of the same card:
We made these cards so we could all be reminded of the powerful message of (and the vast repercussions of)
each Mindset.  These are meant to remind and inspire us, wherever and whenever we saw these,
long after reading the book. 
Believing the information in this book was too important not to share with the community (and that the people of Huntsville would be curious to know what we were reading :-) HISD iTech Matthew Lahey approached Huntsville City Librarian Linda Dodson with a proposal for a donation of copies to be made available to our community.  

Ms. Dodson not only happily accepted these print copies, but purchased electronic copies of Mindset for eReaders and an audio book version, to boot!  

Mindset Display at Circulation Desk at the Huntsville Library- complete with cards.
For Ms. Dodson, this was a natural fit as the School District and the City of Huntsville Library enjoy the responsibility in partnering to help to educate and provide services to our community.

Did you know that the Huntsville Public Library provides free wireless access?
It does!

The Jane and Charles Monday Computer Room at the Library
has plenty of computers library patrons can use- that means you!
Thanks to the Huntsville Library for their support.  For complete information on the Library, click here. Also, a big thanks to our staff, faculty and administrators for joining Dr. Johnson and endeavoring to continue to change the lives of our children.  After all, it's just a matter of changing your mind!

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