Life does not always provide us exactly what we want, what we think we need, or what we believe we deserve.
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.
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The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.