Monday, December 4, 2017

The Need for Grit

It is a disservice to our students if we overlook how valuable and necessary it is to develop the following quality: GRIT.

Life does not always provide us exactly what we want, what we think we need, or what we believe we deserve.
(C/o Pinterest)

We need to teach students how to overcome difficulties that inevitable occur on a small, day-to-day level, as well as on the larger-scale.

We need to teach our students how to handle disappointment.

There's an element of mental toughness that is required to handle those disappointments.  Recognizing grit as a characteristic allows us, as educators, to help develop and forge this quality through the experiences our students face.

Sarah Lewis, bestselling author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, said:

"Grit is not just simple elbow-grease term for rugged persistence.  It is an often invisible display of endurance that lets you stay in an uncomfortable place, work hard to improve upon a given interest, and do it again and again."

Sarah is an Asst. Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African American Studies at a well-known school named Harvard University, where she earned her bachelor's degree.  Her quote about grit sounds very similar to what is known as a #GrowthMindset, which embraces challenges as opportunities to grow and learn.

Overlooking the importance of our students developing grit is a failure to prepare them for the real-world.  And more importantly, if our students never have an opportunity to fail, they won't ever have the opportunity to develop grit.

The definition of grit (noun) is "courage and resolve; strength of character."

Try and convince me all students don't need it.

Thank you for viewing,


The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.


  1. Great blog! I totally agree that our children need to fail to in order to learn how to persevere and develop GRIT, their character and their strength to push through a situation rather than give up or accept failure as their ‘thing’ is key in their future success. Some take a little longer than others, but we all have GRIT in us; it’s just when it’s allowed to be discovered.
    It’s funny to read your blog today. I just saw GRIT on Coach Fuente and Coach Hilgart’s twitter pages yesterday and I loved it!
    Thought you’d like to see it as well so I shared it with you on Twitter.

  2. That was a very insightful blog. Thank!

  3. As we sit around our dinner table I often ask my girls how they failed this week-- this inevitably leads to a question about why I would want them to fail. I tell them if they never fail then they are never reaching the top of their potential. So far it only results in odd looks but I hope not to fail in this forever

  4. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Smith!