“Superhero Mindset Man Sparks Enthusiasm for Growth Mindset” by Michael Wilson was originally published on Getting Smart. Assistant Principal Wilson, from West Woods Upper Elementary School in Farmington, CT, shares the story of Mindset Man, a character who inspires students to learn from mistakes and to keep working even when learning feels hard. Watch the video about growth mindset at Farmington Public Schools to hear students talk about what it means in their learning environment for students, teachers, and administrators to embrace growth mindset.
Nearly every middle and high school gives students a voice on campus in some way, but many schools miss the opportunity to make student voices really matter. Student voice is an area that I’ve been passionate about for a long time. When I was a student at North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles Unified, I participated in several meaningful programs that gave students a real voice in solving problems and helped many students develop leadership capacity (and not just the usual suspects!). Here are four strategies to make student voices really matter in your school.
Community feedback represents a key source of information for superintendents and school board members to guide decision-making. Collecting this critical feedback can take many forms: focus groups, town hall meetings, and surveys. In this post, we’ll detail how districts can use community surveys to capture high-quality feedback from community stakeholders with a handful of best practices.
Over the past five years, I’ve worked with many schools and districts across the United States interested in making data matter for setting goals and improving outcomes. The educators and leaders I’ve worked with who were most successful in using their data to drive improvement were not only skilled in making sense of the results, but also intentional in how they engaged and communicated with their community before collecting data. Making sure that their community knew why and how the data was being collected, what different results would suggest, and how best to use the data to take action set them up for success, and helped them leverage their data to improve teaching and learning.
Establishing open channels of communication between teachers and school and district leaders is critical to creating a healthy and nurturing school climate and culture. Schools at which teachers and staff feel the environment is collaborative, supportive, and professionally stimulating tend to have healthier climates, higher staff retention, and often produce better student educational outcomes.