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Grand River Academy Blog

Stay updated with current happenings at Grand River Academy. This blog also includes resources for families and friends of GRA.

"The sky is yellow"...

"The sky is yellow" -  "No, the sky is blue" Academic mindset, or how a student thinks about himself academically, is a major contributing factor to overall academic performance. Everyone has had a student in his/her class before that comes with the following mindsets: This is a highly malleable area that can have tremendous impact on a students’ immediate and long term success.

    • The work is too hard


    • I’m not smart enough


    • I hate this class and I hate school

Think back.  I’m sure you’ve already pictured one of these students.  What happened next with him in your class?  In school in general? How did he finish the marking period?  How did he finish the year?  Did he finish the year?  These are the “sky is yellow” students.  No matter what you say, they think the sky is yellow.

Beginning teachers often make the mistake that the answer is to HOLD HIM TO THE HIGH STANDARDS OF THE CLASS...  I’m the teacher.  This is my grading policy.  And the student will either follow it or not. Research shows that a baseball player who goes into the batter box scared he will get hit by that ball is exponentially more likely to strike out.  A batter with the mindset that he “owns this pitcher” is more likely to have a positive outcome.This does not work for students trying to gain or regain academic and personal success.  One key element is to play an active role in reframing his mindset. Juxtapose that to school.  A student is more likely to do well on a homework assignment, project, speech, quiz or test it he has a positive mindset on not only the outcome, but his preparation towards the outcome. Last, but definitely not least… teachers, advisors, coaches, dorm parents, administrators and parents all play a vital role in developing or redeveloping positive academic mind sets.  We must care.  We must have the emotional intelligence to know when to push a student to do better or pull back a little.  We must understand a students’ non-verbal signals and be keen on addressing them. School is a partnership.  It is a partnership between the school, the family and the student; each pulling their own weight. For more information on the subject of mindsets, I suggest the book Mindsets, by Carol Dweck.
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