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MCHS Mindset students hope to encourage younger children to adopt growth mindset

MCHS Growth Mindset

At least two dozen McHenry High School students recently spent some time with younger students at Valley View Elementary School as part of a larger effort to focus on success that comes from having a growth mindset.

The March 6 was the second time during the school year for the older and younger students to work together at Valley View. Activities included reading books with a focus on growth mindset, and working together on hands-on challenges to reinforce the positive messages. 

The McHenry Mindset students have also visited McHenry Middle School and Parkland in the past with the same mission.

John Lunkenheimer, a McHenry Mindset advisor and social science teacher at West Campus, said this is all part of an ongoing partnership between the high school and feeder schools. 

“The reason we decided to connect with the District 15 schools is to make relational connections between high school and elementary students,” Lunkenheimer said. “We also liked the idea of introducing the idea of the growth mindset concept to the students and getting them to develop those thoughts at an early age.”

Growth mindset is a concept to achieve success popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck in her book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” The idea behind growth mindset is that persistent hard work can overcome obstacles.

At East and West, several teachers work with students to reinforce growth mindset and encourage them to share with their peers. Lunkenheimer, along with fellow social science teachers Sean Sterner and Robert Niemic and English teacher Stacy Rockweiler regularly team up to work on growth mindset messages and activities.

MCHS teachers are also working on developing a certification program for students.

Some of the books high school students share with younger students to focus on growth mindset are “Rescuing Jessica,” “King for a Day,” and “Courage.” Activities include a maze challenge and cup stacking challenge.

MCHS Growth Mindset