Finally after a year of finding the right time and the right leader, Chess Club kicked off yesterday with Chris Major at the helm. And what a kick-off! The kids hung on his every word and watched his every move. He coached them in the simple pawn game as he slowly introduced the players (pieces). In this game we "capture", we don't "destroy" or "kill". We don't actually ever capture the King, we check-mate him.
As I've been promoting Chess Club, I've had a few responses from parents and kids that go something like this, "Chess isn't for me." My heart drops. Not because I love Chess, but because for some reason they're not giving it a chance. They're not giving this experience a chance. It resonates with me as I'm trying to instill the growth mindset in my teaching, with my students and with my own children. I'm working on it myself, for that matter; that my mind isn't finished learning new things or at least trying!
As we grow as people, as Golden Gate Learning Center grows as a learning pillar in the Ross Valley School District, we must be aware of how our minds approach new experiences. Most importantly, we must be cognizant of how our children perceive our responses and approaches. Let them see you want to learn new things! Ask them what they learned today! Grow their minds and their confidence will grow.
And so, If I could sum up an afternoon of Chess Club, I can simply tell you what I think I'll see in the future. I'll see more confident children who can speak articulately in front of each other; I'll see generous hearts as they teach each other to play; and I'll see kids thoughtfully mapping out their next moves, on the board and in their lives.