In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.*
I interviewed the Vice Principal and Co-Founder of Eastside College Preparatory School today (Helen Kim). Trying to write a blog post about the interview in 20 minutes (which is all I have tonight!) would not begin to do her or her school justice. Not even close. But I will write about one very important aspect of her work with low-income students who are college-bound: growth mindset. One of the most critical factors for success in helping her students reach their monumental goals is to have them perform self-assessments and self-reflection. One of the questions they most pose of themselves regularly (each quarter, minimum) is: Do I have a growth mindset?
Asking this question is very powerful. Instead of believing success in certain areas are “fixed,” its premise is that through hard work and focus, one can achieve lofty goals. The question empowers the student.
Eastside College Preparatory School consistently and vigorously trains their students to love learning and to be resilient. THIS is the key to success! Of course, academic basics and content mastery are important, but without love of learning, one is apt to quit when the going gets rough. And believe me, the going is going to get rough.
In a world that seems to be going a bit loco, it is truly heartening to know there are people like Helen and her staff who work tirelessly, selflessly and energetically to help others in need.