It’s Possible

On returning from New Zealand last week from our Visible Learning school study tour. I have been thinking about the schools that I visited and how best we can implement some of these ideas at Main Arm.

As with any new learning or changes, our mindset often tends to retreat back towards negativity where you convince yourself that things can’t happen because of the many reasons you perceive through your assumptions.

Talking to one of my colleagues during the week about my NZ visit she mentioned a speech from Les Brown, where he talks about attaining something that you didn’t think was possible. In his speech, he mentions an inspiring story of Roger Bannister,who broke the four minute mile and all those who broke the barrier after him.

Before 1954, the universal and common belief was that man was physically not capable of breaking the 4 minute barrier and that he simply could not run a mile in less than 4 minutes. That was it. It had never been done and it would never be done. This was the mindset.

But what did happen was that Roger Bannister did break the 4 minute barrier and what’s even more significant is that since that time and up to this day, over 20.000 people have also done so, including high-school kids!

So what changed?

People’s mindset of course – When people got on the track after this, they knew the four minute barrier had been broken before and because of this there was a new belief, a new mindset, that before this was “unreachable”. Those 20,000 people now went into the race believing, knowing in their heart that because someone had already done it, that it was POSSIBLE, that they could do it.

So a growth mindset is saying to ourselves – have a goal, have a dream, have passion and then saying to yourself , it is possible, I can do this.

At Main Arm, we strive for Quality Learning – Quality Relationships. When we believe in this, then it is possible. Our YCDI foundations give our students the growth mindset to make this happen, along with our school community.

Yes we all know that there will be challenges in achieving our vision, but just like all learning we know we can. These same mindsets exist for all of us – our staff, our students and our community. Our YCDI foundations help all of us work towards our goal or goals.

We want quality relationships so that our students can be learners for life. To ensure that this happens we need to continue developing those positive mindsets so that Main Arm continues striving for the quality that our students deserve.

We can make our dream a reality.

As a school we are currently reflecting on our school goals and directions to ensure that we are all working towards our vision of Quality Learning – Quality Relationships.

Sometimes during this process of reflection we sometimes blame politicians, students, teachers, community, or the “system” on why problems or issues are occurring.

But then when I look at other schools, classrooms, or larger systems that are doing amazing things, I realized that those same “barriers” do exist in these schools of excellence. The difference being is they focused on the power of “I can”.

At Main Arm we want the best – we believe in continuing to keep getting better at what we do – our core business of helping our students to achieve their best. This happens through working and collaborating together through the many barriers, issues and challenges that do exist in everyone’s learning journey. This is a normal part of the process. When we do this together in a positive way – we will continue to break through and achieve success on many levels for staff, students and parents. We can do it!

Last week at both Stonefields and Clevedon Schools I witnessed and spoke to many teachers and school leaders talking about all of the things that they had implemented within their system.

None of these teachers spoke about the challenges they had. The reality is they saw the product, not the journey. Speaking further to some I heard about some of their problems in the beginning, and many dealt with similar obstacles that we have experienced here. What I learnt and saw was that by thinking in innovative positive ways, and, as Les Brown stated, worked from their imagination, not their memory, they created something better not only for their students, but for themselves.

We know amazing schools exist. We know amazing classrooms led by amazing teachers are creating better learning opportunities for students every day.  These schools look at opportunities, not obstacles. This is how a great school and their communities think every single day.

The thing that is often holding us back is ourselves. Once we realize that we can create something better, we often do better.

And as “Les Brown” would say, it is possible.

So at Main Arm, let’s look for opportunities for ourselves, our students and our school. Let’s be the amazing school we want Main Arm to be, let our students look for learning opportunities every single day and not allow themselves to hold back – we know it is possible. As a school community we all have to help our students develop this growth mindset (our YCDI foundations) so that they can be an effective learner – not just this minute or this day but for life!

Have a wonderful weekend looking for opportunities to create something better! Give, nourish, support and nurture. This is the heart of healthy relationships, families and school communities.

Why not?