Effort and the passion for learning

With all the NRL and AFL grandfinals finished for another year it makes me realise just how important effort is in all these games. I read a news snippet recently about Serena Williams. Citing her modest background, Williams reflected on never thinking she would be the winner of 19 championships, “I went on the courts with just a ball and a racquet and a hope.” Many would add to that – and some considerable talent. But what Williams also emphasised was the importance of persistence and effort, saying “for all you guys out there that want to do something and want to be the best that you can be and want to do the best that you can do, you just never give up…”

The efforts of successful sports men and women are perhaps commonly noted. But the point is equally relevant to our students in school. When I think about fostering a passion for learning I find myself repeatedly turning to the insights of Carol Dweck, explained in her book Mindset. Over years of research, Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has observed that people with a growth mindset based on a belief that their abilities can be expanded will develop ” the love of challenge, belief in effort, resilience in the face of setbacks, and greater (more creative) success.” However, you need to be prepared to put in the ‘hard yakka’, even when you don’t want to or feel like it.

As we head into the final term of our school year, I reflected on the importance of reinforcing this with our students but also valuing encouragement; encouragement to develop a belief in the possibilities of their own learning and by giving praise for effort and not praise for praise sake.

“Only when they start to beat their own wings will they fly.” (author unknown)

It’s those same qualities of passion, belief and persistence that we all need to give to our Music in the Valley event which will see us all having success as a school community tomorrow.

So as a vibrant and passionate school community, let’s give ourselves the best and help spread the load and the word to make our Music in the Valley an unbelievable event!

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at our Music in the Valley!

Main Arm will be oozing with magic.