On our last scheduled early release day for professional development all of our staff watched and discussed a short video called “Austin’s Butterfly”. The video is the story of a first grade student named Austin and the amazing progress he made on his drawing of a butterfly when given detailed and specific feedback from his classmates. It is interesting to watch the students led through the process of critiquing each draft in a constructive manner. There is evidence after each draft that Austin utilized the feedback from his classmates and the progress from the initial draft to the final product is inspiring. The video is a testament to the power of a growth mindset. Many times we minimize the idea of a growth mindset down to just continuing to work hard. In this short video, we see that it is much more complex. Students and adults need constructive, positive feedback combined with an opportunity to revise their work if we are to see evidence of progress. I have heard the phrase “less is more” many times throughout my career. Austin’s butterfly is a great example of this idea. In other words, fewer assignments with detailed and specific feedback along with opportunities for revisions are more beneficial than giving the students more assignments. I am attaching the link to this six minute video below.
I hope you have the opportunity to watch “Austin’s Butterfly”. I think it has a powerful message for us as teachers, parents, and as life long learners. I wanted to share this for that reason but also to let you know that our staff is committed to continuous improvement and that these days provided for professional development are utilized in a positive manner. Our teachers watched the video and discussed with other teachers through the “Google Classroom” App. Utilizing this platform not only exposed us to the content in the video but it also allowed teachers to learn a new application that they can in turn use with their students in the classroom. Thanks to a commitment from your BOT over the last several years HA teachers and students have access to four sets of Chrome books and many MS/HS students take advantage of the “bring your on device” policy. Google classroom is just one example of what is possible with having these devices at school. As a staff, we are committed to continuing to grow as educators and modeling the power of this “growth mindset” with students.