River HomeLink has received a $5,000 grant from the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) to build teacher leadership at the parent-partnered school. A leadership team of five teachers will use the grant to implement a professional development program that is based on the "growth mindset" for teachers, staff, and parents at River HomeLink.
The growth mindset, a philosophy covered in a book by psychologist Carol Dweck, is the idea that people can develop their most basic abilities through dedication and hard work, and that brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates motivation, productivity, a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
The CSTP grant will cover the cost of books for all teachers and staff, a professional development curriculum program with video tutorials from Mindset Works, and stipends for the team to develop a blog and discussion groups. The Mindset Works curriculum will also be shared with parents, whose role as at-home teachers to their children is crucial to the program's success.
The team will facilitate the implementation of the growth mindset program school-wide. Leaders will use surveys, case studies and a blog to encourage teachers and parents to share their experiences incorporating the growth mindset into their teaching practices.
The team of teachers: Rebecca Broyles, Ryan Anderson, Lisa Hergert, and Sandy Sparks, applied for the grant after attending a conference for National Board Certified teachers where they explored the growth mindset concept. River HomeLink staff member Conny Cooke also helped with the pursuit of the grant.
"We saw in this philosophy the ability to help students better engage and succeed in their studies," said teacher Rebecca Broyles. "We, as teacher leaders, will encourage and inspire students to keep trying when the going gets hard. At the same time, we will inspire students to keep excelling and stretching their learning when the lesson is easy for them."
Battle Ground Public Schools first used the growth mindset philosophy to enhance the introduction of new Washington State Learning Standards a couple of years ago. "Growth mindset encourages teachers to reward students for hard work and effort and use problem solving processes that encourage dedication and learning," said Paula Koehler-Martin, the district's executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development.
River HomeLink is a parent-partnered education program in the Battle Ground Public Schools district. The school has nearly 1,000 students enrolled.