Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Updated: Jul 12


At Wye River Upper School, we strive to nurture and encourage the intellect, creativity, love of learning, and ambition of each of our students. We recognize that these qualities may assume different forms in different students, and we embrace and celebrate those variations within our school community.


Some of the hallmarks of our educational program include:

  • Staff members who initiate close and trusting relationships with students;

  • Small class sizes that enable staff members to focus on each student;

  • A curriculum that offers breadth and affords considerable choice;

  • Classroom strategies that acknowledge multiple intelligences and different learning styles;

  • Frequent communication between teachers, students, and parents; and

  • Student-led Conferences and narrative evaluations that address the student as a whole person, honoring effort and improvement as well as achievement.

Our teachers understand that all of our students approach learning uniquely. We address those needs within our flexible yet rigorous curriculum and with the support of our teacher/advisors. Our understanding and appreciation of individual learning styles help shape the way we guide the education of our students. At Wye River Upper School, we are committed to cultivating a growth mindset among all members of our community. We want our students to lean into discomfort and know the entire school is supporting them. We want our students to stretch themselves and grow, in all areas, at their own pace. We want our students to focus on working smarter, and understand that learning is a process and diligent work pays off. As staff members, we demonstrate this growth mindset for our students. We tell them when we are challenged by the material. We share what we are studying as a team (professional development) with them. And we make a point of sharing our thinking with them so they can see how we tackle challenges.


Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” Here at Wye River Upper School, we couldn’t agree more.


Stretch Material:

Developing a Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck, video (9+ minutes)

Association for Middle-Level Education “Key to Motivation: Student Agency”, by Rick Wormeli

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