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Habits of Mind - An Introduction

October 14, 2019
By Jennifer Baham | Teaching Principal

Welcome to a new week, San Jose Christian Tigers! And welcome to my new part of the web, The Principal’s Blog. In my role of Teaching Principal, a great joy and most humbling calling, is to lead our community as we develop habits that honor God, offer health, and bring unity. Over the course of the school year I’ll use my blog to highlight and introduce some of the ideas and ways that our faculty bring these habits into the classrooms.

The first series comes from the Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Two years ago Ms. Hossink and Mrs. Truong attended a science conference at VAEI and brought back a tool called Habits of Mind. These habits support the SJCS mission to provide exceptional teaching and curriculum that engages and transforms culture for Jesus Christ.

This week we look at self-direction. SELF-DIRECTION is active participation and control over one’s behavior, motivation, and thought processes. It is taking initiative and responsibility for one’s learning. From Junior Kindergarten to Eighth Grade self-direction takes a variety of forms. 

  • In the Fireflies and JK this takes the form of student jobs. Students explore language, math and so much more as they choose activities which must be completed responsibly and according to a given set of guidelines. 
  • In some classrooms this takes the form of projects. Heritage Day (Grade 2), poster board biographies (Grade 3),  mission projects (Grade 4), and state projects (Grade 5) all require self-direction in the form of time management and student initiative. 
  • The 1:1 laptop program in middle school provides abundant opportunity for students to grow in self-direction as they practice discernment and responsibility. Middle school sometimes calls self-direction "grit".  Growing in self-direction develops grit as well as the skills of metacognition, homework ownership, and responsible technology habits. 

Each blog entry will end with suggested family discussion questions. Know that when parents show a desire to grow and make healthy choices, kids are watching and learning! This week take time as a family to consider the following questions for each member of your family: 

  • In what roles or opportunities in my life do I show self-direction? 
  • Where do I have the opportunity to be more self-directed at work/school or at home?

LOVE | LEARN | SERVE

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