Today’s post is for our mom readers. But, if you read between the lines, I really think it applies to all of us. We could all learn a thing or two about the underlying message being spoken below.
This blog post came from my son’s new school in the form of a newsletter. For my American readers and the rest of my Canadian readers, he just started junior high or middle school this year. However, here is Montreal, high school starts in 7th grade.
So with the permission of our Head of School, I repuplished his blog on ours.
It was titled:
Just Do It
I congratulated our grade 7-11 students this morning on a fine start to the school year. There’s a palpable buzz on our campus. Teachers are impressed with students’ positive engagement in the classroom, and our athletic teams have been busy practicing, playing, and preparing for an exciting fall season of competition. For those students who are uncommitted, it’s not too late. If they’re shy and haven’t tried out for a team, I urged them to be brave, ask a friend what’s involved, or find the coach, and give a team/activity a try. Young people never regret being part of a team – and pulling on a school jersey. As Nike says, they need to “just do it”!
We are having a club and activities fair and the same message about involvement applies: students should dive in with both feet and try a new activity or build a new skill. They need to accept a challenge and see where it takes them. We’re lucky at our school as there’s a lot of choice here – literally something for everyone.
On that front, I believe our greatest experts are actually in our Junior School. What high school students need is a healthy dose of “Grade 3 attitude.” Grade 3 kids will try anything. Generally speaking, they don’t doubt themselves, they want to try everything – and at that age, enthusiasm is a core skill. So we can all learn from the little ones.
One area of special focus this year at our school is wellness. As such, I asked the students to also consider the right activity so they can balance their day and week. They shouldn’t sign up for five clubs that they cannot truly commit to. Balance matters. They should avoid stress that comes from over-commitment.
In addition to the grade 3s, students can also learn from our grade 7s. They all spent last week in an orientation where they learned about EF Skills. Executive Functioning skills include: organization, planning, self-control (the capacity to delay gratification), brain awareness, and the importance of possessing a positive mindset. The last one is perhaps most important. Research has shown that the development of a growth mindset is essentially a huge factor in all learning. It sounds simple – maintain a growth mindset. But in practice, too many teens listen to the self-doubt and negative thoughts swimming in their heads that limit their development.
So every student who declares “I’m no good at math,” or “I’m a terrible artist” or “I hate reading,” will likely make that a self-fulfilling prophesy by promoting the attitude that they lack ability or potential.
I urged our students to believe in themselves and their potential and in the sheer beauty of possibility. If they carry that growth mindset through the year, they will surely surpass their expectations.
I can’t wait to see it happen at all levels! – Head of School
I wish for us all to believe in ourselves, our potential, and in the sheer beauty of possibility. Happy Weekend.