If you have read my blogs or had a conversation with me about the future of today’s youth, the phrase “Vinson Level Effort” was likely part of that discussion. In the Vinson house, we measure success based on effort and not the achievement of the task at hand. This sign, hung by the door, is a reminder that daily effort is the most valuable family asset.
According to Stanford researcher, Carol Dweck, those who succeed in school and life have what she calls a “Growth Mindset.” Growth mindset is the belief that most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point toward achievement.
This week the Vinson kids brought home their report cards. Discussions weren't centered around grades, but effort. Vinson Level Effort includes turning in all your work, studying for a test, asking for help and going the extra mile. If all that hard work results in a C, we celebrate. Achievers aren’t those who always finish first, but they always finish. Folks who struggle, but finish every time are often the most successful in the end. They have adopted a growth mindset.
The Wylie ISD 4th Grade Track Meet began this week. The joy and struggle of students competing are both valuable experiences. We are so proud to see them finish what they started.
I am most proud of our Wylie kids when I experience them facing adversity in a way that Dr. Dweck calls “not yet.” When someone has a “Fixed Mindset” they believe they have only a limited ability and no amount of practice or belief will grow that talent into achievement. People with a Growth Mindset understand that achievement requires effort and that effort may not result in immediate success, yet. It’s all how you respond.
How would you answer to the following question?
As we teach our students The Wylie Way, we focus on grit and growth mindset because these tenants support our students’ self-awareness and self-management. Equipped with the tools to persevere through daily challenges without giving up, our students are socially and emotionally healthy enough to tackle even the greatest of trials and achieve. They may not achieve their goal the first time, at least NOT YET.
Landon Hawkinberry is a fourth grader at Smith Elementary. Despite being born without complete development of his hands and his feet,
he completed 32 laps at the Smith Fun Run without stopping, without complaint.
Landon will be representing Smith at the track meet on Tuesday and will probably be challenged by competitors. Will Landon be the first across the finish line? Who can say, but one thing is for certain, I will be one of the loudest spectators standing and cheering for Landon as he turns NO into "NOT YET!"
When you review your child's report card, here are a few ideas to approach the discussion with a growth mindset.
Thanks in advance for helping us grow achieving leaders, the Wylie Way!