Looking Ahead to the 2021 Base Camp and Leadership Summit Season

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” - Carol Dweck, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” (1)

Within days of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a global pandemic, school doors closed and teachers redesigned their classrooms to serve students remotely. School leaders worked to ensure the health and safety of their students, teachers and staff while also attending to learning needs. District leaders were called on to not only be experts in schooling, but public health experts too.

The past year was one of the most challenging periods in recent history, but it was also a time when we saw growth mindsets among educators flourish.

What distinguishes a fixed mindset from a growth mindset? Dweck teaches that those with a fixed mindset believe their talents are innate gifts. Simply put, they believe they’ve been dealt a set of cards and they must make the best of what they have. And typically—since they understand their ability to succeed as limited and static—individuals with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up more easily when faced with challenges, and see potential effort to overcome challenges as fruitless.

Those with a growth mindset believe that talent is developmental. They believe the cards they’ve been dealt can be improved, developed or changed. They embrace failures as opportunities to grow and derive motivation from challenge.

The 2021 season of Base Camp and Leadership Summit will call on attendees to reflect on aspects of their practice where they apply a growth mindset and places where their mindset is more rigid or fixed. For most of us, we find evidence of both depending on our context and circumstance.  Performance Coaches help coach teams through a data-driven process to reflect on their own leadership practices and collaboratively reimagine their growth and improvement strategies. Teams will also have time for reconnection and opportunities to recharge:

  1. Reconnect

A year of social distancing has taken a toll on team connection. While solving common problems and overcoming obstacles has fortified many of the teams we serve, having to stay six feet apart or completely remote has taken an emotional toll. BCLS is a unique opportunity to strengthen the bonds formed this past year, or even to restore trust where it may have diminished. The experience fosters relationships needed to press onward--together.  Activities like BCLS Quest integrate challenges and bonding moments. Scheduled and intentional “team time” means more safe, innovative, and low-stakes opportunities for discussing, testing and refining new ideas or theories.  BCLS promotes equity of voice across diverse teams so leaders maximize the investment and can learn and share with those closest to students.

2. Recharge

In the wake of COVID-19, the fatigue and exhaustion is obvious and, this year, we will continue our tradition of a retreat-like professional learning experience. We’ve left our familiar home at Stone Mountain Park (to read more about our decision to leave, click here) and have found a new home at The Crowne Plaza Peachtree City.

Tucked away in on a serene 38-acre campus, the seclusion of the hotel and conference center provides a distraction-free environment perfect for learning, sharing, and connecting. It’s an escape where your team can truly disconnect and recharge after the burnout caused by 2020.

3. Reimagine

We have always believed that learning should be both fun and challenging. If we aren’t stretching teams, we aren’t doing our job. COVID-19 surfaced new needs and intensified inequities within our schools and communities. Now is the time to reimagine the possibilities for 2021 and beyond, to grow from lessons learned as opposed to perpetuating the status quo that serves some but not all.

So how can you push past “what’s always been done” and reimagine school to meet those needs? BCLS teaches teams an important and timeless process to identify and address their personal problems of practice. And each team is supported by a talented performance coach to translate core learning to your distinct strengths, challenges and needs.

And how can you stretch beyond your comfort zone to reimagine a more equitable learning experience for every student? Equity is a core belief of the continuous improvement work process taught at BCLS. We will continue to uphold the importance of equity in the learning at BCLS in general sessions, breakouts, and team time. And your team will be asked to look at themselves, reflect on their own experiences and beliefs, and how those influence their work.

Registration is open now for the 2021 season, which we are planning with careful thought to participant learning and safety. Join us by registering your team here. Scholarships are available for districts in need thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.

  1. Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.

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