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How you can help from home (pssst it’s not hard)

Found in: Leadership Blog

Do you know that feeling of reading a good informational/help book, hearing an inspirational speaker or going to a great conference and getting really excited about something and vowing to make permanent life affirming changes?

It can sometimes be like new year’s resolutions, kind of dissipates with time.

We’re trying to avoid that. Last term I told you about the SCEA Better Education conference our staff had attended and the ideas of growth mindset and the symbol of a learning pit to help build resilience and risk taking in learning amongst our students.

Throughout the Primary school, teachers have considered the learning pit symbolism with students and they have caught on well. Year One have used images like surfing waves, Year Two - Six  riding bikes etc. Ask them some questions from home: what does it mean to be wobbly? What is the learning pit?

Help by affirming them for their efforts, rather than ideas of natural talent. It is amazing how this develops their resilience.

Miss Hickford shared a short video that her Year Six class had seen, which I showed to the students from Years Nine to 11 this morning. We began the discussion and common language with them and I will speak to the Year Seven and Eight students as soon as possible.

Take a look at it, it’s only short: speaks about Michael Jordan. https://vimeo.com/117364809

The heart of this concept is that it is OK to feel confused, rattled, “wobbly” or make a mistake. It is part of the learning process. The key is to have both the tenacity and the strategies to climb out of the pit to higher learning on the other side.

Together as a school we are speaking a shared language that orients students toward taking the risks that all learning involves.

Here are some poster statements we will have around the College. You could print them up and have them around your home or where your children read or study, or just make them part of your encouragement. It helps to reinforce and it’s not that hard. If you have a child in Year Nine, Ten or Eleven; ask them what Mr McNeill spoke about this morning. Please respond with body blows for any who reply with “dunno” or “forgot” and don’t let me know either (I’m trying to build up my self-esteem and resilience).

Rod McNeill