Summer is a time when everybody looks forward to enjoying with family, friends, and travel to see places that can refresh one’s mind and bring joy to the heart. Sharjah International School provides a long well-deserved break is provided for students, teachers and school leaders to productively use their energies, connect with family members, explore places and extend their learning beyond the portals of the school.
School life is the best time for any individual, to build confidence, identify, celebrate success and make friends. Schools set a culture that is warm, positive and a place of hope for students. Teachers ensure that passion for learning is instilled among students. The parent community is more than happy to actively participate and be involved in all school activities. Schools become a second home for all students. The portals of the school look empty without students and teachers during long breaks.
The last day of school before the commencement, of summer vacation, is very special for all stakeholders. Everybody looks very cheerful with big smiles and happy faces. The joyful day starts will a special assembly, class party, tips by class teachers and concludes with a final goodbye to students. Teachers stay back for a few days after, students leave to complete their work and make preparations for the 2nd term before students report back to school
Summer days get over so quickly, that in the last week of summer holidays, everyone thinks and talks about the previous weeks and on the special moments they spent with family and friends.
How can we help students to be back to school with the same joy that they had on the last day before the commencement of the summer holidays?
Research has clearly shown that a growth mindset and grit may matter more to overall success in life than native intelligence. As educators, how do we instill this in our students so that they look forward to joy and happiness to be back to school?
Being the principal of the best Sharjah Indian Schools, I believe that students should be told by teachers and parents that summer is a time for participating in enriching activities and ways of learning that they may not be exposed during the school year. They should also be provided with opportunities to join in the community–based programs that enrich their soft skills nurtures their qualities for the world of work and gives them the experience to become worldly-wise.
It is the best time for parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to discuss with the young minds on good failures and how to persevere and overcome setbacks, obstacles, and disappointments. Helping students develop a growth mindset coupled with grit will help them to create their own destiny.
Helping children to improve on their general attitude or predisposition about the way they think is most important for all adults who are in charge in shaping the minds and growing them into healthy global citizens.
Once we nurture them with this particular skill, students will take charge of their future and learn to become independent decision-makers for their future. When a growth mindset is coupled with grit traits, students become more optimistic, take up challenges with ease and believe that life is beautiful and every experience is unique that enables them to become efficient and effective learners.
While parents help children to develop these skills at home during vacation time as a school, the leadership team and teachers should plan wonderful positive activities that are welcoming, enjoyable and enriching.
Teachers should talk about good qualities with special emphasis on grit, tenacity, and traits that go a long way in developing the growth mindset. Students must be provided with opportunities to frame new simple words for grit, connect them to their summer experiences. Engaging them in collaborative activities is more important than providing them with individual work when they return from holidays.
This will boost their confidence, provide opportunities to share experiences and feel at ease while expressing themselves. Teachers and school leaders should take opportunities to address students on having a strong understanding of emotional changes and how one needs to adapt themselves with changes that can happen anytime in today’s world.
Schools should equip teachers with gritty words that can be used with students’ in the class. A fun-filled grit cloud that has new words and expressions, can be created and displayed in a suitable area of the school. This will enable students to learn and work towards nurturing their growth mindset and grit.
Encouraging students to take onus for their own future, learning to balance between school days and long holidays should be nurtured in them from kindergarten. Once we instill in students the right thoughts and best experiences, a positive change will be very visible. They will be eagerly looking forward to being back to school, share their unique experiences and be a part of all learning activities that are planned for them during the school year.
Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint – Angela Duckworth.
ASPAM Indian International School Sharjah