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Teaching for Transformation Series: Growth Mindset

September 30, 2019
By Ann Steenwyk

 

Dear Families and Friends of SCS,

We have had such a great start to the school year.  As hard as it is to believe we’re already over half way through the quarter, if you were inside these walls you would definitely notice that our students are deep in the work, as if it’s the middle of the year.  Although I can’t get all of you into the classrooms to see first hand what is happening, I’d like my monthly blog series this year to focus on how our Teaching for Transformation training is making its way into the classroom.  Our teachers have begun an eight module series of training alongside of Oostburg Christian School with a special focus on helping our students to see God’s story and practice “living” in God’s story both in and outside of the classroom.

Our first training focused on “growth mindset.”  Growth mindset is a phrase coined by educational researcher, Carol Dweck to describe how we want our students to approach learning.  The underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence have a strong impact on student achievement. When students believe they can get better at something, they understand that effort makes them stronger.  Therefore, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement. It is our job as educators to move students from having a “fixed mindset” (i.e. “I’m either good at it or not.” “I don’t like to be challenged.”) to having a “growth mindset” (i.e.“I can learn to do new things and get good at it.” “Challenges help me to grow.”)

This concept that we have the capacity to develop our abilities and get better is consistent with how we want our students to view their faith too.  We teach our students the concept of sanctification - the putting off of one’s old self and putting on the new through Christ - as an on-going process that requires effort and perseverance.  The Bible teaches us that through the Holy Spirit, we have the capacity to change, to be more Christlike. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Just like we want our students to be curious, take risks, and persevere in problem solving (growth mindset), we want them to also have these habits in their Christian lives.

With this in mind, our high school students and middle school students have expressed interest in starting a P7 Bible club at both campuses, with a desire to “unlock faith, unleash truth, elevate Christ, and serve others.”  Please join me in praying for these groups of students who have a desire to grow their faith and persevere in relationship with Christ. They are living a Christian growth mindset.

Philippians 1:6:  “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Thankful for the Good Work,

Ann Steenwyk
Director of Academics and Instruction