Grit

This is the new buzzword in education, but unlike other trends, this idea may have staying power.  Grit is a person’s ability to carry through on particular long-term goals.  Grit is a blending of perseverance and passion.  There is a great Youtube video, called Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance that I would recommend.

The reason this idea is taking hold in our schools is because we find that many students give up too soon on challenges in learning.  At some point in their years of schooling, they hit a wall and stop trying.  But research tells us that if they possess grit, they push through and actually become better learners and stronger individuals.  

Think about it in your own life.  Are your best learning experiences grounded in something you excelled at or something you had to work at?  One way we can help our children develop grit is by sharing our own experiences with them.  Kids really think they are alone in their struggles.  Knowing that adults they love and respect have made it through similar times is tremendously comforting.

In his article, 5 Steps to Foster Grit in the Classroom, Andrew Miller also suggests that teachers model grit in the classroom by demonstrating their own thinking process in tackling difficult reading or math story problems.  He also recommends lots of formative assessments that are not graded.  This allows for students to grow in the learning process instead of dwelling on an evaluation of their work.  
I also love the idea of asking students to reflect on what I like to call Biblical Grit.  Which people in the Bible demonstrated grit?  How did Jesus show His perseverance and passion?   Everything we do should be preparing our students for their spiritual and academic futures.  Let grit be a part of your conversations.