CCSD: You Have Much to Celebrate!
Change is so exhilarating and absolutely terrifying all at the same time, isn’t it? There are a lot of things that scare us about change; in all areas of our lives, we fight, sweat, and triumph with change, but everyone struggles with what it takes to be successful. Have you ever heard of the term Grit?
Here, Angela Lee Duckworth talks about how grit is the key to success:
People who wake up without purpose become lost. They aren’t reaching for mastery because they are preoccupied with the safe zone. Problem solving isn’t a priority. This is a formula that doesn’t necessarily cause a disaster each day, but it also doesn't build a better society. Avoidance or whatever else we use to prevent moving forward is just repeating the cycle and when we choose to model that method for our children, we choose to teach them to surrender, to take the easy route, or to not worry about what matters. In order to work on the right work, we must first work on ourselves. When we decide to put it all on the line and ask the tough questions each and every day, and face our problems head on, this is where the magic happens. This is what to celebrate during our lives, and the same is true for all aspects of our society. The same is true for the Charleston County School District.
CCSD isn’t the only educational organization that is tackling change. Like many other districts, it is trying to figure out how to learn and grow together more effectively. The difference is in tackling not just change with a program, but change as a system-change that causes a systemic paradigm shift on all levels of the organization: students, staff, parents, community. How do you continue down this pathway with resiliency and grit, moving beyond the nay-sayers, and standing strong right next to the people that tell you it can’t be done?
Answer: You remember why you are doing what you are doing. You know your vision. You know your core values. You know that this isn’t just about grades; in fact, it is about much, much more than that. It is about the students growing into something they can believe in not just for themselves, but for their society. Just like it is on a personal level, when you achieve something with all of your energy focused on that one goal, and succeed, you celebrate. And so should Charleston County School District. Celebrate all of your accomplishments regularly!
Charleston County students are already celebrating personal mastery, and grit in their own way using their own words:
“It was okay to be at your own pace. Nobody would feel ashamed. We were all one big happy family and you would never tease someone. You would help them, like you would help them break it down and walk them through it. We would always try to help everyone because it’s not, ‘Every man for himself.'” -5th grader
“It’s easier to learn when we’re sharing because we don’t hurt people’s feelings and it helps us be friends.” –PreK
“We have anger strategies, take a deep breath, calm down, tell them how we feel. People have gotten better at it. Now they can learn to calm down.” -2nd
“The vision was to always remember to help in the community and to help with the teachers…because sometimes it’s not the matter of fact that the teacher doesn’t know what to do it’s the fact that we all don’t know what to do at some point and we need to depend on each other.” -5th grader
“Those are the things we know how to do, the list, and if we read it we know it and it makes me proud of myself to show that I know and I’m acting like a big kid.” -2nd grader
"I like being about to use my freedom of speech and get a say in what we do. The teacher might even change things that we didn’t like or that wasn’t working for us and it makes me feel really good to be listened to.” -4th grader
“We always looked up to it and we read it every day to keep it as a great reminder in our head and to work together and to work as a team and to never give up on yourself or on each other.” 5th grader
“We set our class goals and we set personal goals. Mine is to be my own person and not join in with bad behavior. Even at home if my brother is not doing his homework that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do mine. This goal is important because I won’t waste my learning time.” -5th
“I like our voice and choice in Science and Math. I like being able to work it out together. I can work with a teammate. We talk and work it out together then we tell her what we came up with.” -3rd
That is something to celebrate because your students are feeling the difference and when they feel it, they believe in it! Just in case you need some quantitative data as well, I’ve got that for you too:
Re-Inventing Schools Coalition