Growth Mindset (5.14.2020)
Melissa Rescoe shared this email with me on Sunday, and I thought it was a powerful message to share (with permission) with everyone. :)
Happy Sunday Eve,
I hope this email finds you winding down from a wonderful weekend. I wanted to share something with you.
This weekend, my family and I took on replacing our front deck. It has been 18 years since we installed the other deck. I got up that morning doing an "I get to use a drill!" dance. So, Don, Matt, and I went outside and went to work. My job was taking the screws out of the old deck boards. So I sat down and eagerly got to work, only to get completely frustrated. The screws were breaking or I didn't have the right angle to get the screw out. Don gave a tip, "It is easier if you approach it from the top." So, I changed positions and got a slight increase in success of getting the screws out. However, my percentage of successfully taking a screw out was about 10%. The screws were rusted, stripped, or covered with warped wood. I began to cry. I took a moment, breathed, walked away BUT I came back. I did not give up. I was determined to help my family with this project. Don encouraged me by admitting that he was struggling to get the screws out, too. I went back at it, because I did not want to let my family down...once again, tears and time to recoup. So...tactic change: crowbars, hammers, and saws and ripping the boards out. That was a Don and Matt job. I stayed nearby for encouragement and got assigned other jobs to do. You see, this was not my area of expertise, but I was determined to help and (luckily) I was able to find a way to contribute to this big project PLUS I learned about many tools. After a few hours, we managed to strip all the old boards off and take the railing down. We took a lunch break and Marshall joined us in the afternoon to help install the new boards. At the end of the day, we all stood proudly admiring the new deck. Thank goodness I had a growth mindset, because that feeling of pride cannot be replaced. Each time I pull into my driveway, I smile at that deck because I was a part of it and I worked through that frustration.
Here is the point: our learning right now is very different than at the beginning of March. An additional role has been added to your daily life and you are learning how to meet your family's needs and support your student. The adjustment to this role ebbs and flows-for both you and your student-especially as phases of reopening are implemented. There may be really good days and some not-so- good days. This is normal. This is part of learning. Luckily, we worked really hard at establishing bubble gum brains (growth mindset) for 6 1/2 months and working towards our vision of becoming better readers, writers, mathematicians, and citizens. This work continues at home. However, frustration may be experienced and that is okay. Take time to make sure that yours and your students' emotional and mental well-being is being nurtured. Walk. Run. Ride bikes. Draw. Color. Bake. Cook. Fold laundry. Sweep. Play. Build. Find something that will help with emotions being felt and take your mind off the task so you can come back to it rejuvenated. We can do this, one day at a time. I understand and I am here for you.
Picture of my new front deck with composite wood (apparently really good wood-according to Don)!