This week, the faculty met again as part of our ongoing study of Neuroteach by Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher. The book has provided plenty of rich conversation for the team here, and this week the discussion circled around the power of “yet.”
Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset has been going on for a decade, and its applicability for our work at Pilot is obvious. Whitman and Kelleher write,
“What can a ‘yet sensibility’ look like in the classroom?…Throughout a student’s academic journey, teachers are professionally obligated to help a student not only meet his or her potential but also to see how far they can push that student beyond that initially perceived potential. Part of the earned trust comes from a palpable, unwavering belief in each individual student, to honor the student’s current strengths and weaknesses, and to work with him or her to demystify the learning experience.”
I just loved reading those lines, as they so succinctly call to mind several key factors of our daily charge: respecting our students enough to set a high standard of excellence, developing a relationship of trust that allows us to push them higher, faster, and stronger, and most importantly, constantly revisiting our own beliefs about what a student’s potential actually is. This notion of an ever-moving target adds new dimensions to our motto “Unlocking the Potential.”
Next week, we’ll be welcoming a team of fellow educators for our full-scale accreditation visit. The preparation for this visit has been a couple of years in the making and has involved a thorough self-study of our philosophies, programming, and protocols. It felt appropriate to be having these conversations with teachers this week, a sort of doubling-down of our belief about our students, as we prepare to show off our school to outside colleagues.
And, of course, I’d be remiss to not mention that we’ve been doing this fabulous work for 65 years! So to that end, a very Happy Birthday to one heck of a school. I hope to see you all (in your 60s best) at the celebration tomorrow evening.
Alli Wiliams, Ed.D.
Head of School
The Pilot School