Sunday, September 22, 2013

How does persistence and grit inspire me and challenge me in the classroom?

I believe in Angela Duckworth’s idea that successful people GRIT = which in short to me equals “passion and purpose.”  So obviously the idea of persistence goes hand in hand with this drive to accomplish and reach your goals.  In teaching, my main drive is to help all students learn and as the article suggest we as teachers will try and fail many times in order to reach each and every one of our learners.  The concrete sequential thinker that I am would rather after ten years f teaching have more answers and confidence as to how to solve those somewhat “difficult” situations we often have with learners.  I want teaching to get easier but every year it feels it gets harder.  No one child is alike and so it does take persistence and lots of brainstorming, implementation, follow-through and help from others to find what will work best for our learners.

Do I feel teaching persistence and grit is important? 

Of course I do, but the idea is easier said than done.  I find it challenging in kindergarten to teach grit because so much of their life prior has revolved around dependency on others.  In my classroom, I really encourage independence and reliance on each other as a community to be successful.  We practice this in small ways including “ask 3 then me” and encouraging strong problem solving skills.  We read books and have discussions about trying new things and trying them repeatedly to gain success.  I feel those small things all help students learn and practice perseverance.  And for me, helping students find their grit is helping them find their personal passion.  We talk a lot about special interests and talents early in the year.  Not only does it help me learn more about them as a learner, but they also start learning about themselves and begin focusing on their positive attributes.  You wouldn’t think but it is often difficult for 5 year olds to share their unique gifts and talents.  It’s my job to highlight, recognize and build on those ideas to help them further their passion and purpose in life.

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