A New Year’s Message from the Early Childhood & Family Engagement Team
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Judaism teaches us to believe in and embrace the power of change. The Yamim Noraim (High Holidays) provide us with support and opportunity to be introspective and reflect on our lives so that we can recognize how we need to change, and gather the courage to change. It takes reflection and courage to understand and see things in new ways and to challenge our assumptions about ourselves and others.
In her new book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dwek, a renowned developmental psychologist, makes the case that a growth mindset is essential for change:
Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.
Judaism also recognizes that growth takes mutual support and that support is found in the power of Jewish community. That is why it is very important that we as an educational community come together to support growth mindsets for ourselves and our young children.
One of the essential tools for growth for young children and adults is play – especially self-directed, open-ended play – and experimentation that leads to discovery. This year we have many exciting opportunities for you to play with new ideas that will support your growth mindset: Experience new early childhood approaches in action through site visits; connect with colleagues through networks; contribute to our In-site-ful Journey blogs; attend conferences; and immerse in new ideas through webinars. All are planned to stretch your mind and practice.
We are very excited for you to join us this March for a very special experience as we dedicate our spring conference to the power of play. The conference will be led by the “play mavens,” and authors of From Play to Practice, Marcia L. Nell and Walter F. Drew, who teach that “play is for keeps and central to human growth and development at all stages of the life process.”
This year let us take another lesson from Carol S. Dwek and remember that “becoming is better than being.” Let us dedicate ourselves to developing a growth mindset by taking cues from our children and each find new ways to play, create and innovate!
Wishing you a Shana Tova u’Metukah,
Shellie, Sue, Shariee, Yael and Rachel
The Early Childhood & Family Engagement Team